Pi Day

Pi Day

I can identify Pi and use it to find the area of a circle.

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March 14 is Pi Day! Make Pi Day entertaining and educational with this presentation filled with activities for the day. Teach students about the history of Pi and how it is calculated.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to identify Pi, use it to find the area of a circle, and examine the relationship of area to circumference. They will learn about Pi's history and have some Pi competitions.




The lesson begins with a table of contents that links to different activities. First, Students learn what Pi is and the history of Pi. Then, they learn to use Pi, radius, and diameter to calculate the area of a circle. Finally, students participate in several activities including a paper chain and a memorization competition.


Students learn what Pi is (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter) and understand that it is an irrational number. Next, students learn the history of Pi, from its origins with the Babylonians to the calculation of mathematician, Zu Chongzhi. Then, students practice calculating the area of a circle using radius, diameter, and pi. After this, students participate in an activity called, “Cutting Pi” in which they use a string and cut to measure the circumference of a circular object. With this string, they see how many pieces of string fit within the length of the diameter of the object. It will always come out to 3 with a little string left over.


Students create a paper chain, using a different color for each digit of Pi. Next, they try to memorize as much of Pi as they can within 5 minutes and view a mirror image of the number 3.14 which looks like the word, “pie”!

Instruction materials

For the “Cutting Pi” activity, you will need several circular objects, like cups, plates, or other instruments. You will also need string and scissors. You can have students work in pairs or groups for this activity.

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