Negative Exponents Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about negative exponents. Students will watch a video defining the term and showing how to write fractions and decimals as exponents. Plenty of guided and independent practice, along with activities and a quiz, make learning last.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define negative exponent
  • write fractions and decimals as exponents
  • convert fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Index cards with equivalent negative fractions and decimals written one on each, one set for each student or group
  • White boards, markers and erasers
  • Copies of tarsia puzzles (one per student or partnership)
  • Scissors
  • Zipper baggies

Key Vocabulary

  • Exponent
  • Negative exponent
  • Numerator
  • Denominator

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.6.a

Recognize opposite signs of numbers as indicating locations on opposite sides of 0 on the number line; recognize that the opposite of the opposite of a number is the number itself, e.g., -(-3) = 3, and that 0 is its own opposite.

  • CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.6.c

Find and position integers and other rational numbers on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram; find and position pairs of integers and other rational numbers on a coordinate plane.

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