What's a mathematician's favorite holiday? March 14th! Why? Because the date, 3/14, reminds them of that magical mathematical constant, Pi. Who doesn’t love a day that combines learning and food? We definitely do! So of course we had to share some fun ideas to celebrate this irrational, transcendental number.
Recipes – easy as pie!
- Pie crust Pi cookies – if by chance you don’t have a Pi cookie cutter, dress up a batch of circular sugar cookies with royal icing Pi symbols!
- Mini apple pies – maybe a Pi shape in place of the traditional lattice on top?
- Looking for something less sweet? Try some mini chicken pot pies
Make Pi String Decorations
Students at every level can get a feeling for Pi with this creative STEAM activity. It’s easily adaptable to suit your time frame and your students.
- Keep it simple by printing the Pi Garland worksheet, coloring the circles, then cut them out to assemble a pretty garland.
- Have a little more time? Using the same worksheet, first draw nine of your favorite things inside the 9 circle, six things in the 6 circle, etc.
- Working on units of measurement? On all the circle worksheets, the number in the center of each circle is the number of centimeters in its diameter. So the 4 circle has a diameter of 4cm, the 2 circle has a diameter of 2cm, etc. Print a test page of the worksheet with measuring dots to be sure that your printer’s “fit to page” settings are set for frustration-free, accurate measuring. You can also white-out the numbers to allow students to fill in the measurement themselves.
- Feeling extra math-y? Print the color by equation page (or make your own to fit the functions you’re working on) and challenge students to solve the equations to color in their Pi circles.
- Want a group project? Make a looooong garland to give students a feeling for the transcendent nature of Pi.
- You’ll need: cardstock, scissors, tape, colored paper (one sheet of black, and 9 other colors), colored pencils, string, a few internet connected devices
- Prep before class: Print the Pi Circles download onto cardstock – enough for 1/3 of your students.
- Divide students into 3 groups.
- Group 1 is responsible for researching the digits in Pi. Challenge them to find it to 25 or 50 significant figures! The more detailed you get, the longer your garland will be. Ask students to write out the number on the board to keep track of the order.
- Group 2 cuts out the tracing templates – each one should be cut carefully so it can be used many times! Be sure to cut a decimal point out of the black piece of paper too.
- Group 3 will be responsible for attaching the circles to the string. Their first task will be measuring a length of string that will fit the circles! The diameter of each circle corresponds to the number printed in the center – the 9 circle has a diameter of 9cm, the 7 circle has a diameter of 7cm. Group 3 will need to look at the number that Group 1 is writing on the board to add up how long the string needs to be.
- Once the tracing circles have been cut, both Groups 1 and 2 can start tracing and cutting circles for Group 3 to tape to the string.
- Make room for leaders: If you have helpers of the week, there are opportunities for leadership within this project – project managers can ensure that the correct number of circles are being cut. A quality control team verifies that the circles are cut from the correct color paper.
Star Teacher Material: Make sure your lesson plan's fully baked by choosing a title that supports your Pi Day theme. Here are a few of our favorites from the Tales2go library. Math class has always been fun, but adding a listening component can really take it to the next level!
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