Lesson plan

Solve exponential equations when the variable is in the exponent by using logarithms

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A.4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSF/LE/A/4

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Big Idea: For an equation with an unknown exponent, logarithms can be used to help solve the equation for that exponent. This lesson builds on students' previous work with modeling using exponential equations and understanding the inverse relationship between logarithmic and exponential expressions. In this task, students will develop exponential equations and use them to determine the exponent needed to given a certain value. They will explore how many times a one-inch stack of paper will need to be doubled until it reaches the sun. Logarithms and graphs will be used to determine the answer. The task also encourages students to consider the nature of exponential growth and how quickly the function grows. This task prepares students for future work with exponential and logarithmic functions in more advanced mathematics courses. Vocabulary: inverses, exponential, logarithms, common logarithms, natural logarithms Special Materials: Scientific calculator Graphing calculator (optional)