Pi Day Ideas for Middle School Math
March 14, also known as Pi Day, is coming soon!
Do you have exciting plans for Pi Day activities in your math class?
Maybe you have some tried and true favorites, or maybe you're looking for something new.
Whether you teach 5th or 6th grade math, elementary math or higher levels of math, Pi Day is a day that can be celebrated and used to explore the concept of Pi - in so many different ways!
Pi Day Activity
Have you tried using donuts to have students discover the Pi relationship between the diameter and the circumference? Or maybe cookies?
I tried it with donuts recently.....can be a little messy, but fun!
In my pictures, you'll notice I had some donuts with icing and sprinkles....I'd suggest NOT using those if you want to minimize mess:-)
Materials for Pi Day activity:
2) Licorice 'strings' for measuring (if you have tape measures that would be best, but I never had those in my classroom, so I went with the string idea)
Steps for Discovering Pi Using Donuts
1) Measure the circumference of the donut using a string of licorice (regular string will work just as well....maybe better, depending on the size of the donuts. I had to use 2 pieces of licorice on my donut, which could result in less accuracy.)
Once students mark the circumference on the string or the licorice, they measure that length.
2) Measure the diameter of the donut in the same way.
3) Divide the circumference by the diameter.
Discussing the Results
Chances are that students won't get exactly 3.14 when they divide their circumference by the diameter. But they should get close if they've measured carefully (and if the donuts are close to being perfect circles).
Take some time to compare students' results and help them analyze the data by discussing questions like:
How close are students' results to each other?
What could cause students' calculations to be less accurate than others'?
Once the discussion is done, students can enjoy the donut treat!
Pi Day Activity Posts
There are some awesome ideas on other blogs, so I thought I'd link a few for you here:-)
From The Colorado Classroom:
Pi Day Fun
Pi Day - Not Just Another Day
From Math Giraffe:
Unique Ideas for Pi Day
From We Are Teachers:
31.4 Mathtastic Pi Day Activities for the Classroom
What are your favorite ways to celebrate Pi Day and teach about Pi?
Resources to learn about and practice with circle concepts:
To Read Next:
Hey there! I'm Ellie - here to share math fun, best practices, and engaging, challenging, easy-prep activities ideas!