Many children, when starting to learn about Pi, struggle with its concepts. Lucky for them, March 14th is an excellent opportunity to plan fun Pi day activities for middle school children, making math a fun learning experience. On a side note, it also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday! I have listed some creative ways to celebrate Pi day with your students.
Learn the History
Three-point one four one five nine two six five three five eight nine seven nine three two three! Or if you’re lazy, Pi. It is one of the most well-known numbers in the math universe–it is merely the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
Since the time of the Babylonians, approximately 6000 years ago.
- The Babylonians approximated it to 3 and 3.125
- The ancient Egyptians used 3.1605
- The famous Greek philosopher and mathematician Archimedes showed it was between 22/7 and 223/71.
- Zu Chongzhi, a Chinese mathematician, gave a better approximation of 355/113, but his work remained lost. The mathematicians in the 1700s had already adopted the 22/7 Greek symbol π in their calculations.
Share the interesting history of Pi with your students through a
Children are curious little beings that love exploring the world around them via practical means instead of reading about it or familiarizing the concepts. That being said, you can start via practical pi day activities that thrust them into the basic concepts of Pi.
Children will respond to hands-on instruments like set squares, compasses, and protractors while doing geometry. You can start by giving the kids compasses and showing them how to draw circles with them. Tell them to measure its diameter and circumference using a string and a ruler. Next, have them divide the circumference and diameter using a calculator, and then write them on the board. They’ll be amazed when they see that the results are close to each other even though they drew random circles.
Additionally, you can give out prizes to those students for calculating the most accurate value of Pi, giving them the incentive to participate and engage throughout the day.
Show Pi’s Irrationality
Pi has fascinated humanity with its irrationality. Irrationality means that Pi has no seeming end to it and can’t be expressed as a ratio of two numbers.
Be creative when showing your students the concept of irrationality. You can list down your students’ birthdays on the board, and write down Pi’s actual value up to the point where one of the students’ birthdays shows up. The student gets a prize when their birthday shows up. This can be a cool way to show them the infinite nature of Pi. If the students write down enough pi digits, they can find their birthdays in it.
Fun with Food
With all the learning going on, your students will get hungry. We all know how restless and inactive they can become once this happens. Wink! Wink!
This is a great way to involve some food-related Pi day activities and help them regain their strength. You can organize a bake sale where children can put up stalls to sell circular food items they make – like pies, pizzas, cookies, or doughnuts. The proceeds from these can go towards a good cause. Again, you can even give out prizes to those students that collect the most money.
Play Engaging Games
One of the best ways to engage with children is via games on Pi day. A carnival-esque event can incorporate both games and food, but if you’re looking for some games limited to classroom pi day activities, there are dozens of
You can host a memory game where students try to memorize and write down the value of pi to an increasing number of decimal places in a limited amount of time. They get eliminated if they don’t get it right, and the last student standing wins.
You can even involve other classrooms where students can compete with each other in a race for 3.14 miles, make a human circle or shape the Greek symbol for Pi in the least amount of time, or play games involving hoops.
Shameless plug time!!
If you are a math teacher, try looking for educational kits that already compile essential guides and tools for teaching students basic math concepts. Introducing the properties of circles can be alot more fun with interactive games.
I have a Pi-day Fun Pack that includes creative and fun geometry activities that engage students with historical and math facts. It is a great bundle for reviewing the role of Pi in the world of mathematics.
This pack includes:
- Word Search
- Coloring Pages–Circumference and Area
- Virtual Bingo Game
These activities are excellent for no prep morning work, math centers and home school work! They are perfect for Annual Pi Day also!
Celebrate with Art and Crafts
Students, especially those in middle school, respond better to music, arts, and crafts. It helps them exhibit their imagination to construct tangible memorabilia and cherish Pi day with a fond memory. More importantly, it is a great way to gauge your students’ understanding of Pi’s concepts.
You can give them ideas like making jewelry with beads with different colors, counting up to Pi’s digits, making a collage out of the digits, or painting the symbol for Pi in their way. You can involve music and poetry like singing songs based on Pi. Involve your students and encourage them to come up with creative ideas on their own.
From our largest galaxies and stars to the smallest particles in our quantum world, Pi is not only crucial in geometry, but has helped humanity explore the universe. It has become a pop culture icon with mentions in the Simpsons, Star Trek, and Yann Martel’s famous book Life of Pi–making Pi one of the most famous constants.
So don’t waste this learning opportunity for your students on March 14th.
Pi Day FAQs
Pi is the the Greek letter for the letter p, or the constant π. It is the ratio of the circumference of any circle to the diameter of that circle. In decimal form, the value of pi is approximately 3.14 or 22/7.
Pi Day is celebrated by people all around the world. They participate in various activities:
1. Bake a favorite pie
2. Play geometry games with circles
3. Throw a Pi Day party
4. Measure the circumference and area of items in the house, such as coins, plates and cookies.
5. Research the achievements of Albert Einstein, who was born on 3/14 (March 14th)
No, Pi does not end. Pi is an irrational number. As such, it has no final digit. In addition, there is no pattern to its digits.