Lesson 14

Absolute Value Meaning

These materials, when encountered before Algebra 1, Unit 4, Lesson 14 support success in that lesson.

Lesson Narrative

In this lesson, students examine absolute value as an operation. First, students interpret the meaning of absolute value of a number in situations. Then students find the values of expressions including absolute value by recognizing absolute value’s place in the order of operations. In the associated Algebra 1 lesson, students work toward writing absolute value as a piecewise function. Students are supported by recalling what they know about absolute value as an operation from grade 6 before expanding on their understanding of absolute value as a function.

Students must look for and make use of structure (MP7) when they use order of operations with absolute value.

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

• Recall that absolute value of a number is its distance from zero on the number line.
• Recognize absolute value’s place in order of operations.

Student Facing

• Let’s investigate absolute values.

Building On

Building Towards