Sunday, March 1, 2015

Celebrate Pi Day in Math on March 14th

Math - PI Day

March 14 or 3-14 is also known as Pi Day in lots of Math Classes!

Pi Day is sort of a Math Holiday and often is celebrated with real PIE. Do you prefer Pizza Pie,  Dessert Pie, or another type of Pie?

Here are 2 different math (geometry) activities to try with your math classes (mostly for middle school but the 2nd one can be done with younger kids.) Then I'll give you some awesome links to get LOTS more activities to celebrate PI Day on March 14 (or any day that you want to work on diameter and circumference of circles for middle school kids plus other FUN math activities for younger kids {kindergarten and elementary grades} and ALL ages.)

Activity 1- Learning about PI


  • (3) different size circles or cylinders for each pair or small group of students
  • yarn or string
  • scissors
  • rulers or tape measures
  • calculators (optional)
  • paper and pencils


  1. Divide the students into pairs or groups.
  2. Discuss/Review diameter and circumference of a circle.
  3. Have students measure the diameter of the 1st circle with a ruler or tape measure and write it down.
  4. Ask students how they should measure the circumference of circle 1. Elicit from the students that they should use string, then cut and measure the string.
  5. Have students measure the circumference of the 1st circle (outside edge of the circle) with the string or yarn, then remove the string from the circle and measure the string with their ruler or tape measure. They need to write down the measurement of the circle (the circumference).
  6. Have students divide the circumference by the diameter.
  7. Continue with the same procedure to measure circle or cylinder 2 and 3.
  8. In each case, when the students divide the circumference by the diameter, they should get 3.14 or 3 1/7.
  9. Discuss with students how this happens with ALL circles.

Activity2-Learning about PI

  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 from above.
  • Have students wrap the string around the circumference of their circle or cylinder, then cut the string.
  • Next have students stretch the string across the diameter of circle 1 or cylinder 1.
  • Have the students cut as many diameters as possible from the string.
  • They should get 3 diameters plus a small piece (1/7 or 0.14).
  • Repeat for circles or cylinders 2 and 3.
  • Have students explain PI based on the activity they just completed.

Here are some great links with lots of great ideas and videos to celebrate PI.

Elementary Grades

Kindergarten Activities

Teachers Pay Teachers has hundreds of great lessons both free and paid.

Here's a great math book to help teach about circles and Pi. 

Have lots of fun with math !!!!

Happy Pi Day!


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