Finding Solutions with Exponents

By Susan LoFranco on Apr 24, 2017

A. Student will identify the meaning of an exponent

B. Student will express area of a sqaure or volume of a cube using exponents

C. Student will calculate area of a square or volume of a cube 

Students will solve problems calculating area and volume using exponents.  


  • Review definition of exponent (positive exponent means repeated multiplication), difference between two dimensional and three dimensional objects,  and the formulas for area (A = a2) and volume of a cube  (V = a3). 
  • Review with student that 32 (3 is the base 2 is the exponent) is different from 23.    32 = 3 X 3 = 9,   23  = 2 X 2 X 2 = 8
  • With the student, using a cube as a concrete example, measure the cube.  Measure the length and width.  Have the student calculate the area.  Then measure depth.  Have the student calculate the volume. Practice two more times with cubes of varying sizes.  
  • Once the student is confident have them complete the attached Volume and Area Worksheet (below) using the students choice of media to record the answers.  

Cube volume worksheet




Using a Rubik's cube can be very helpful in solving volume of a cube and area.  The student can count the 9 different colored tiles or feel the 9 different tiles. This would explain 33 or 32.