To introduce this elusive little number, students will move around the room with tape measures to find the circumference and diameter of various circles (paper plates, lids to various containers, etc.) They'll divide the circumference of each circle by its diameter then find the average ratio to discover pi on their own. (You can grab this freebie by clicking here.)
After I disclose the name of the number they've discovered, we will watch a fun video, Calculating Pi with Real Pies, by Numberphile (3 minutes). Next, we'll create a large bulletin board to display the history of pi from 1700 to 1950 (before computers).
Each student will receive a card with a date, name, place, and contribution. He/she will use reference materials to find the location and color it on the card. Together, we will create an 11-foot timeline to show how people from all over the world have worked for thousands of years to determine the exact value of pi.
The final activity will allow students to learn more about tally tables, frequency tables, and line plots by analyzing the first 100 digits of pi.
Celebrating Pi Day will be such fun! Wont' you join us?