In the previous few lessons, students have built familiarity with arithmetic involving powers of 10 to solve problems with very large and very small quantities. This lesson formalizes what they have learned by introducing the definition of scientific notation. A number is said to be in scientific notation if it is written as a product of two factors: the first factor is a number greater than or equal to 1, but less than 10; and the second factor is an integer power of 10. This definition does not include negative numbers for simplicity. Students must attend to precision as they decide whether or not numbers are in scientific notation and convert to scientific notation (MP6).
Lesson overview
 13.1 Warmup: Number Talk: Multiplying by Powers of 10 (5 minutes)
 13.2 Activity: The “Science” of Scientific Notation (15 minutes)

13.3 Activity: Scientific Notation Matching (15 minutes)
 Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
 Lesson Synthesis
 13.4 Cooldown: Scientific Notation Check (5 minutes)
Learning goals:
 Identify (in writing) numbers written in scientific notation, and describe (orally) the features of an expression in scientific notation.
Learning goals (student facing):
 Let’s use scientific notation to describe large and small numbers.
Learning targets (student facing):
 I can tell whether or not a number is written in scientific notation.
Required materials:
 preprinted slips, cut from copies of the blackline master (See Additional Materials section of this lesson)
Required preparation:
 The blackline master for Scientific Notation Matching has three sets of cards.
 Set A is for the teacher to demonstrate the process, so only one copy of set A is needed.
 Cut out one set of cards (either set B or set C) for every 2 students.
 If possible, copy each complete set on a different color of paper, so that a stray slip can quickly be put back.
Glossary:
 scientific notation  Scientific notation is a way to write very large or very small numbers. We write these numbers by multiplying a number between 1 and 10 by a power of 10. For example, the number 425,000,000 in scientific notation is \(4.25 \times 10^8\). The number 0.0000000000783 in scientific notation is \(7.83 \times 10^{\text11}\).
 Access the complete Grade 8 glossary.
Standards:
 This lesson builds on the standard: CCSS.5.NBT.A.2MS.5.NBT.2
 This lesson builds towards the standard: CCSS.8.EE.A.3MS.8.EE.3
IM 6–8 Math was originally developed by Open Up Resources and authored by Illustrative Mathematics, and is copyright 20172019 by Open Up Resources. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). OUR's 6–8 Math Curriculum is available at https://openupresources.org/mathcurriculum/.
Adaptations and updates to IM 6–8 Math are copyright 2019 by Illustrative Mathematics, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Adaptations to add additional English language learner supports are copyright 2019 by Open Up Resources, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
The Illustrative Mathematics name and logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be used without the prior and express written consent of Illustrative Mathematics.
This site includes public domain images or openly licensed images that are copyrighted by their respective owners. Openly licensed images remain under the terms of their respective licenses.