Are you looking for Pi Day activities for elementary, but you don’t know where to start? I understand. I used to think that Pi Day was only for secondary students. It’s actually for all students. They don’t have to understand how to calculate pi; they only need to know it’s a celebration of math!
STEAM, or STEM with the arts, is the perfect way to celebrate Pi Day with the littles! Here are some fun activities for you to try with your students.
Pi Day Snack
Who doesn’t love to celebrate with a little snack?
If it involves food, they’re hooked! That’s what I love celebrating with Moon Pies. We talk about how the Moon is a perfect circle. It also shares the same ratio as all of the other circles. Even the one they’re eating! #mindblown
What Does Pi Sound Like?
Did you know pi has a sound? This is AMAZING!!! This artist assigned keys to each digit (because he’s amazing). Then, he played the song. It’s incredible! Also, check out the other songs on this website. There’s even a Pi Day rap!
Read About Dragon Pi
Another activity you can do is read about pi. There are dozens of children’s books about pi. I like Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander because it uses math vocabulary. This helps students conceptualize those abstract terms. It’s a long book, so you may want to break up the reading into small chunks.
Have a Pi Day Competition
I love competitions! Start by giving students about one week to memorize as many digits of pi as possible. Then, hold a contest on Pi Day (March 14) by having students write as many numbers as possible. Finally, have parent helpers or other students check the work and count the numbers.
I was impressed to learn that a four-year-old memorized 200 decimals. Isn’t that crazy!?
This project is exciting! This is challenging because students must create a wheel using wooden skewers and toothpicks.
To start this challenge, display the materials on a table. Then, have students create a plan on how to create the wheel. Have students label each part of the wheel. This will help them determine the number of supplies needed saving you materials and money!
Click HERE to learn more about Year Long STEAM Activities!
Next, give students about 20 – 25 minutes to construct their wheel. After that, give them about five minutes to test their wheel and make adjustments. I suggest taping a start and a finish line on the floor so students can see how long 3.14 meters is. Painters tape is perfect for this as it easily sticks to the floor and doesn’t leave a residue. If you’re outside, draw a start and a stop with sidewalk chalk.
Finally, allow students to roll their wheel. I love doing this whole group because the kids get excited for each other. They LOVE this challenge!
Pi Day Art
This is an individual project. Start by exploring some Pi Day artist using this link http://www.teachpi.org/people/pi-artists/
Next, investigate circles in the environment by having students look around the room or take an in-school field trip searching for circles. Additionally, look specifically for circles.
Then, explain to students that they will be creating their own Pi Day art using a limited amount of supplies: three medium circles, one large circle, and four small circles. They may choose to create whatever they’d like, but they must use the circles.
Finally, have students explain their artwork in writing or by speaking to the class. These are so cute and make a great bulletin board display!
I’ve created printables for each of these activities. I’ve even included a reading passage with comprehension questions and a written comprehension question. Additionally, the reading passage teaches students about the history of pi, what pi is, and how we celebrate it.
How are you planning on celebrating Pi Day this year? Comment below to share your ideas.