It might be obvious to point out that Pi Day is coming up (March 14, get it?) but it’s the perfect opportunity to teach students about this mysterious number that’s been around since antiquity. It’s a chance to celebrate arithmetic in a way that even non-mathletes can appreciate. From games to sweet treats to crafts, here are some fun ways to learn about pi that students won’t even think of as work.
Let Them Eat Pi
Students can use pi to determine the areas of circular objects around your classroom like clocks and stools. To make it more fun, give them cookies or even pi pie to measure, along with the plate it’s served on. They’re bound to think more fondly of geometry if they associate it with sweet treats.
Find ways to work pi into everyday life so that students have context for it, such as this clock that expresses time in terms of pi. Students already know the numbers on a clock, so replacing them with this gives them simple math problems for which they already know the answers.
Pi on the Wall
Many schools find ways to express the infinite nature of this irrational number. Students can post the sequence of numbers around their classroom walls to learn what comes after the standard 3.14, or you can get the entire school involved and post number trails down the halls. Bracelets with beads for each digit and paper chains are other options.
There are a bevy of pi-related puzzles to do on Pi Day. You can even sign up for the Pi-Day Challenge. And just because pi is a number doesn’t mean it has to stay in the math realm. Students can research pi and turn their findings into poems, songs, skits or artwork. Projects like these can make both left-brained and right-brained students happy.
For any year-round schools that can’t get enough pi, there’s also Pi Approximation Day on July 22.
Do you have any Pi Day customs? Do you have educational activities for other non-traditional holidays?