Prime Factorization - Grade 6

Prime Factorization examples and questions , with detailed solutions and explanations, for grade 6 students are presented. A review of factors and multiples would be very helpful to understand prime factorization.

Prime Numbers

Definition: Any whole number that can be divided by 1 and itself ONLY is called a prime number.

Example 1

2 is a prime number, why?

2 can be divided by 1     2 ÷ 1 = 2 with remainder equal to zero

2 can be divided by 2 (itself)     2 ÷ 2 = 1 with remainder equal to zero

Try to find another whole number that divides 2 with remainder zero. There is not.

Example 2

7 is a prime number, why?

7 can be divided by 1     7 ÷ 1 = 7 with remainder equal to zero

7 can be divided by 7 (itself)     7 ÷ 7 = 1 with remainder equal to zero

Try to find another whole number that divides 7 with remainder zero. There is not.

The first 10 prime numbers are: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29

You can generate more prime numbers and test them.

Composite Numbers

Definition: Any whole number that can be divided (with remainder equal to zero) by another whole number other than 1 and itself is called composite number.

4 is a composite number, why?

4 can be divided by 1, itself and 2.

6 is a composite number, why?

6 can be divided by 1, itself, 2 and 3.

12 is a composite number : it can be divided by 1, itself, 2, 3, 4 and 6.

30 is a composite number: it can be divided by 1, itself, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10 and 15.

Factorization

From division to multiplication to factoring.

Division and multiplication are related operations.

The division 6 ÷ 3 = 2 may be written as a multiplication: 6 = 2 × 3

To factor a whole number is to write it as a product of two or more whole numbers.

Examples

1) 6 = 1 × 6 ; 6 = 2 × 3     1, 2, 3 and 6 are called factors of 6.

2) 12 = 12 ×1 = 3 ×4 = 6 ×2     1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 are called factors of 12.

3) 20 = 1 × 20 = 2 ×10 = 2 × 2 × 5 = 4 × 5     1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 20 are called factors of 20.

Prime factorization

Prime factorization is to write a composite whole number as the product of prime numbers only.

Examples

1) 6 = 2 × 3     the factors 2 and 3 are prime numbers.

2) 12 = 2 × 2 × 3     the factors 2 and 3 are prime numbers.

3) 20 = 2 × 2 × 5     the factors 2 and 5 are prime numbers.

How to find prime factorization of composite number?

Example 1

Write the prime factorization of 12

1) See if the first prime number 2 is a factor of the given number 12

12 ÷ 2 = 6 with remainder = 0        2 is a factor of 12        12 = 2 × 6

2) See if the first prime number 2 is a factor of 6

6 ÷ 2 = 3 with remainder = 0        2 is a factor of 6        6 = 2 × 3        Hence 12 = 2 × 6 = 2 × 2 × 3

12 = 2 × 2 × 3 is completely factored using only prime numbers 2 and 3

Example 2

Write the prime factorization of 21

1) See if the first prime number 2 is a factor of the given number 21

21 ÷ 2 = 10 but remainder = 1 so 2 is not a factor of 21

2) Is the next prime number 3 a factor of 21?

21 ÷ 3 = 7 with remainder 0        3 is a factor of 21        21 = 3 × 7

3 and 7 are prime numbers and therefore 21 = 3 × 7 is completely factored using only prime numbers 3 and 7

This prime factor calculator can be used to generate all prime factors of a given number.

Answer the Following Questions

  1. For each number below, decide which is a prime and which is a composite number? Explain.
    1. 9

    2. 11

    3. 16

    4. 22

    5. 39

    6. 41

    7. 49

    8. 57

  2. Which of the following is a prime factorization?
    1. 8 = 2 × 4

    2. 10 = 2 × 5

    3. 20 = 2 × 10

    4. 30 = 2 × 3 × 5

    5. 38 = 2 × 19

    6. 42 = 2 × 3 × 7

    7. 56 = 2 × 2 × 14

    8. 75 = 3 ×25

    9. 80 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 5

    10. 100 = 2 × 2 × 25

  3. What is the prime factorization to each of the following whole numbers?
    1. 8

    2. 18

    3. 24

    4. 45

    5. 63

    6. 88

    7. 96

Solutions to the Above Problems


    1. A prime number has only 2 factors: 1 and itself. A composite has 3 factors or more.

    2. 9 is a composite number since 9 = 3 × 3 , it has 3 fators: 1, 3 and itself

    3. 11 is a prime number because it has only 2 factors: 1 and itself

    4. 16 is a composite number since 16 = 4 × 4 = 2 × 8 , it has 5 fators: 1, 2, 4 , 8 and itself

    5. 22 is a composite number since 22 = 2 × 11 , it has 4 fators: 1, 2, 11 and itself

    6. 39 is a composite number since 39 = 3 × 13 , it has 4 factors : 1, 3, 13 and itself

    7. 41 is a prime number because it has only 2 factors: 1 and itself

    8. 49 is a composite number since 49 = 7 × 7 , it has 4 factors : 1, 7 and itself

    9. 57 is a composite number since 57 = 3 × 19 , it has 4 factors: 1, 3, 19 and itself

  1. A prime factorization includes prime numbers only.

    1. 8 = 2 × 4           the factor 4 is not a prime number therefore it is not a prime factrorization.

    2. 10 = 2 × 5           both factors 2 and 5 are prime numbers so it is a prime factrorization.

    3. 20 = 2 × 10           the factor 10 is not a prime number therefore it is not a prime factrorization.

    4. 30 = 2 × 3 × 5 ;           all factors 2, 3 and 5 are prime numbers so it is a prime factrorization.

    5. 38 = 2 × 19           both factors 2 and 19 are prime numbers so it is a prime factrorization.

    6. 42 = 2 × 3 × 7           all factors 2, 3 and 7 are prime numbers so it is a prime factrorization.

    7. 56 = 2 × 2 × 14           the factor 14 is not a prime number therefore it is not a prime factrorization.

    8. 75 = 3 × 25           the factor 25 is not a prime number therefore it is not a prime factrorization.

    9. 80 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 5           all factors 2 and 5 are prime numbers so it is a prime factrorization.

    10. 100 = 4 × 25           both factors are composite; it is not a prime factrorization.

  2. Prime factorization is carried out by successive divions using prime numbers.

    1. 8 = 2 × 4 = 2 × 2 × 2

    2. 18 = 2 × 9 = 2 × 3 × 3

    3. 24 = 2 × 12 = 2 × 2 × 6 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 3

    4. 45 = 3 × 15 = 3 × 3 × 5

    5. 63 = 7 × 9 = 7 × 3 × 3

    6. 88 = 2 × 44 = 2 × 2 × 22 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 11

    7. 96 = 2 × 48 = 2 × 2 × 24 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 12 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 6 = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 3

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