A Math Teachers favorite day is almost here. Yes, it’s PI-DAY! And just because Pi-day comes on a Sunday doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate. When my birthday falls on a weekend, I make sure I celebrate the entire week before.
When I was in the classroom I always had posters of Albert Einstein on the wall with quotes, and because his birthday is also on Pi Day, it has always been a double celebration. For students, it gives a variety of ideas for the classroom.
1. Pi Day Song
This you tube video is a fun way to begin the class, and if you can get the students singing along, even better. This video celebrates the first hundred digits of PI. And it’s a catchy tune.
2. Do You Exist in PI?
Several years ago I got obsessed with the digits, because they are mystical and magical in some respects. This digits contain your birthdate, address and maybe your phone number.
Use this link to find your phone number …or your birthday and provide it to your students so they can find theirs as well. You can also use this link to find birthdays. It is a little unsettling to think that our information exists in PI.
3. Group Card Game
Supplies needed: Decks of Cards (at least one for each team)
Put the kids in teams of 4 or 5.
Deal out all the cards and designate a person to go first. You can do this by using numbered heads (have kids number off and then call out a number). Then the play is either clockwise or counter clockwise. Since clocks are digital, you may need to explain the direction.
The first player plays a 3–if they have one. If not then the next player with a 3 plays, then players play the digits of PI, in order until one person is out of cards. You may want to display the digits of pi on a poster, or play this game after you have done another activity which explores all the digits of pi.
You can also use several decks and play this whole class. Deal out all the cards and number the students. Students play the digits in order with the cards displayed across (and around) the room until one student runs out of cards.
4. Write Pi-Ku poems
April 17 is National Haiku poetry day. You can introduce Haiku poetry early to students by having them write about anything Pi-day related and create Pi-ku poems. The structure is simple for a Pi-ku. Instead of the Haiku pattern of 3 lines with 5-7-5 Syllables in each line we have 314:
1st line is 3 syllables
2nd line is 1 syllable
3rd line is 4 syllables.
5. PI Art
Pi-inspired art pieces could be the next great trend in home decor. Who doesn’t love art in the classroom. I know my students always enjoy seeing poster paper and markers on the supply table.
Supplies needed: Graph Paper, poster paper, colored markers or colored pencils.
In this first activity, students create bar graphs using the digits of pi, the designs look like skylines. See it in this blog post.
I did my own virtual version using google sheets.
Create art with circles only. One year I had students create art using only triangles. Kids were upset, how could they create art with only triangles. The result was amazing. Creating art with circles offers another opportunity to see how creative students can be.
6. Measuring Activity
If you have middle school students, have them measure different size cans (circumference) to demonstrate the value of pi. I like to show students the value of finding patterns in mathematics instead of memorizing formulas. If they can discover the patterns, they will be able to adapt those patterns to more difficult concepts.
This blog post has a tutorial of measuring the circumference in pictures. Visit the blog to read more about it.
7. All School Celebration
In pre-COVID-19 days, students formed a human Pi symbol with all the students in the school. You can be in the record book if you can get enough participants. But this is an activity for next year.
8. Research and Present
Have students make a presentation of Pi-Day memes, jokes or pictures.
Albert Einstein Video Project
Have students research Albert Einstein and produce a video about him. Post the videos in Flipgrid and do a virtual gallery walk. Have students leave messages to other students about the presentations or just a thumbs up. Students can record videos up to ten minutes in length. You can also have them do a google presentation and covert to a video, or download the presentation to PowerPoint and record narrations.
9. Math Review
Albert Einstein Quotable
Discover three Albert Einstein quotes with this activity that practices finding the area of circles. There are three separate worksheets and correct answers lead to completing a famous quote.
Surface Area and Volume Review
You can also review area, circumference, surface area and volume with task cards, digital task cards or google activities. You can make it a team game, give points and teams that have the most points get a prize. Try these bundles for surface area and volume.
Looking for more information about PI? Here is an infographic about PI and it’s digits. You can print it out for the classroom or print in an interactive notebook size. Or you can save it as a picture and display online in your google classroom. Just scan the QR code below:
10. Infographic for the Classroom
Whew! That was certainly enough for celebrating PI-Day or even PI-week. Try out something new this year and have some fun. Let me know how it goes. I know teachers are very creative finding new activities and I would love to hear about them. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.