Powers of Ten

What are the powers of ten? Students create mathematics manipulatives to explore powers of ten.


sheets of 1/4-inch graph paper (amount depends on the number you want to illustrate)

2 scissors per group

1 roll clear tape per group


1 roll butcher paper per class


What to do

GIVE each child a sheet of 1/4 inch graph paper. Have students DRAW an X in one square. A stamp may be used in place of an X. This X represents the number one (1). PRACTICE counting with one, i.e. "one desk", one student". WRITE a large one (1) on the left side of a chalkboard.



Have each child MAKE a strip of ten X's, CUT it out, and PASTE it on butcher paper. This row represents the number ten (10). PRACTICE counting with ten, i.e. "ten fingers", "ten pieces of chalk". WRITE a zero (0) next to the one (1) on the board to make a ten (10).



Have each group PASTE ten strips of ten X's together to make a block of100 on a sheet of butcher paper. This represents the number one hundred (100). PRACTICE counting with one hundred. WRITE a zero (0) next to the ten (10) on the board to make one hundred (100).



Have the students PRACTICE by looking for one, ten, and a hundred in the world around them. EXAMPLE: About how many toes are in the classroom? Ten toes on ten children makes a hundred toes. If desired, this activity could be extended to a thousand, or even to a million.

What's Happening? Find out more about powers of ten and pH.

Challenge. Have a jelly bean counting contest. Fill a large jar with jelly beans and give a prize to the best guesser. How could you guess how many jelly beans there are in a jar? Share your ideas in the pH Exchange.

Estimating Large Numbers: What does a million look like?


pH Factor Home Teacher's Guide Excite Explore Explain Museum Menu
Expand Extend Exchange Examine  


©2001 Miami Museum of Science
Questions or comments about the site? Write to the Webmaster.

You can buy this resource on CD-ROM for use on computers without internet access.
Visit our online store for more information!