A Round-up of Pi Day Resources

Pi Day is on Tuesday. Last week I shared a few resources for teaching and learning about pi. This post is a summary of those resources and a few more. 

OPEN Phys Ed offers five free physical education lesson plans centered around Pi Day. The lesson plans are designed to be used in elementary school and middle school. The five Pi Day lesson plans offered by OPEN are:

  • Pi Toss
  • Pi Day Races
  • Pi Day Dice Relay
  • Cake or Pi?
  • Who Wants Pi?

To access the lesson plans you do need to register for a free OPEN Phys Ed account. Once you have an account you can download the lesson plans for free as PDFs and Word documents.

On Drawings Of… Lillie Marshall is offering three free printable coloring pages for Pi Day. The first is a visual explanation from the “Pi Queen” and the other two are sheets of little pi-themed cards that students can color and give to each other. Get the Pi Day printables here

Numberphile has a few good videos about pi and Pi Day. Pi with real pies is a three minutes and fourteen seconds video that explains Pi and how it can be calculated.

After showing the video above, you might want to follow up with this video, How Pi Was Nearly Changed to 3.2.

A Mile of Pi, as you might guess, is about a mile of digits.

Exploratorium’s Science Snacks site has three hands-on activities that you can do on Pi Day (or any other day of the year).
  • Pi Toss is an activity in which students toss tooth picks is a physical recreation of Buffon’s Needle Problem.
  • Pi Graph is an activity in which students graph the diameter and circumference of a series of objects in order to see the linear relationship between any circle’s diameter and circumference.
  • Cutting Pi is an activity in which students use string to measure the circumference of an object and then attempt to cut the diameter of the object from the string as many times as possible. In other words, it’s a physical way to divide the circumference by the diameter.
Tynker is a service that offers programming lessons for elementary school and middle school students. For Pi Day Tynker has a free lesson plan in which students practice their programming skills by making art based on Pi. The free lesson plan has students use Tynker’s block programming interface to create art and animations featuring the digits of Pi. 
Pi Skyline is an art project that has a Pi Day theme. In the project students shade graph paper to correspond to the digits in pi. Then they cut out the graph and place it on a shaded background to create a city skyline effect. Watch this one minute video to see how the project comes together. 
Finally, if you want to give your students a Pi Day ear worm, play the Pi Day Song for them. 

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