The Learning Hub

Wonder Wednesday: What is Pi?

PiDay Writing

National Pi Day was this month (March 14th) and many schools are providing math related activities to get students involved in the celebration!  There’s no better time to get students wondering what the magic number “Pi” is all about…and it’s always a great time to get students WRITING across the curriculum!

Students can find the above visual prompt in the Write About This gallery by searching for “cookie” or navigating to the Food category.  Have students select the picture and choose an appropriate prompt as an anticipatory set.

1-What is your favorite type of cookie?  What makes it so delicious?

2-Give step-by-step directions on how to eat your favorite cookie.

3-Tell why you think it is either OK or not OK to eat dessert BEFORE dinner.

Have students share their responses and discuss any similarities they hear from each other’s responses.  Ask the students, “How are cookies related to math?” Accept all answers and guide the discussion towards identifying that cookies are circular and has the properties of circles.  If you want, you can provide examples of cookies and have students measure the circumference, radius, and diameter of the cookies.  So how are these numbers related to Pi?

Students can now work to generate their own investigative question for further research. This can include investigating what is pi, what are irrational numbers, how are the properties of circles related to pi, the ending of pi, etc.   There are great resources on pi at Wonderopolis:   “What is Pi?”!  Once students have decided on their investigative question, have them complete a KWL chart.  They can then generate their research questions/topics from the “What I Want To Know” column in an I-Chart.  This is a great way for students to organize the evidence they gather during their research!  They can take notes in the Write About This app and add their own audio interpretations  to their notes as well.

Finally, have students write on their chosen question in the Write About This app.  Require students to provide a visual image or drawing to help illustrate their investigative research to share to the class.  Have students share their writing and perhaps celebrate with some cookies!


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.B.4 Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.

Lani deGuia is a teacher, instructional technologist, and social media manager.  She has over 13 years of educational experience in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works in digital content and strategy for businesses and personally blogs at Rose Tinted Traveler.

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