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Scientific Notation Activities and Games

Looking for a fun and free scientific notation activity for your middle school classroom? These activities will provide your 7th and 8th grade students with plenty of engaging scientific notation practice.

I have also successfully used these scientific notation activities with physical science students at the high school level.

scientific notation activities

Scientific Notation Ordering Cards Activity

I want to share a set of scientific notation ordering cards I created to use as a sort of formative assessment to see what previous knowledge my students had about scientific notation and how they were progressing as we moved through our different notes and activities.

Scientifico – A Bingo Style Game for Practicing Scientific Notation

Scientifico was probably my favorite activity we did for practicing scientific notation. To play this game, you’ll need game boards for each pair of students, three dice for each pair of students, and a recording sheet for each student. I recommend laminating these game boards for durability.

Scientific Notation Dominoes Activity

rainbow dominoes tipping over with text "scientific notation dominoes"

Students must line the dominoes up so the numbers in standard form are matched with the appropriate number in scientific notation.

Scientific Notation Square Puzzle Activity

This scientific notation square puzzle was a great way to see how well my students could transition between the different representations.  It also helped me see if they understood how to tell if a number was smaller or bigger than another number.

Giantburgers Scientific Notation Task

hamburger with title: "giantburgers scientific notation task"

One of the final tasks my physical science students did over scientific notation was this Giantburgers task from MARS. My physical science students found this task to be tricky because they really struggled to wrap their mind around what percent means.  I guess it’s a good thing their teacher has a math degree!

Scientific Notation Graphic Organizer

I created this scientific notation graphic organizer for my physical science students to glue in their interactive notebooks. I wanted to start class with a discussion of why scientific notation is useful and what it looks like.

Scientific Notation Foldable

I created this scientific notation foldable for my physical science students to glue in their interactive notebooks. The focus of this foldable is on converting to and from scientific notation.

Scientific Notation Ranking Task

To practice our scientific notation skills, we completed this scientific notation ranking task in our interactive notebooks. This problem is from the MARS Size It Up lesson.

8 fun scientific notation activities

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  1. Games are such a great way to engage students. I don’t do enough of this. Being a high school math teacher, there just seems to be an overwhelming amount of material with so little time, especially when days are taken for assemblies, testing, etc. Thanks for reminding me that I just need to take the time because in the end, it will be well worth the effort and time. Students will learn and gain confidence while having fun.

    I have used games that are similar to some of the ones you have posted here. Currently, my Math 2 students are having difficulty with multiplying binomials. You have reminded me that I can use a puzzle like the one you pictured here (that I have in a book somewhere) that will help them. Your ideas here also made me think that I could make a deck of cards with this same idea where they play Concentration (match the pairs—problem (x – 2)(x + 3) with its answer (x2 + x – 6) in groups of 3 or 4.

    Thanks for the inspiration and great ideas.—Donna

  2. I think the best part about this post is the amount of activities you describe. Because in the end, the materials you have available may change your mind on what activity to pursue but you are still covering relatively similar content. I can also see how these activities may also allow students to elaborate on exponents in general. But also these forms of games and activities can be related and used to help students understand other mathematical content other than scientific notation. These are all fun and engaging ways to discuss mathematics, which is great because engagement can really be the key to learning mathematics.

  3. Thank you for your ideas – have been looking for some great game ideas for standard form and these are brilliant 🙂

  4. Hi Sarah,

    Do you have these resources in google docs? The links to the games do not work anymore…

  5. I retyped the game based on the pictures in her post. If anyone wants a copy, you can email me at jgabrielson_AT_go-efsd_DOT_net.

    1. I have tried to email you, but link does not work! I would love to have these game boards.

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