Next Saturday is Pi Day!
What is Pi Day? Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14) as a fun way to commemorate the mathematical constant π, or 3.14… This year Pi Day will be even more memorable because on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m. the date and time will represent the first 10 digits of π!
One way to celebrate Pi Day is to bake a pie decorated with a π symbol and share it. This year, why not pull out some middle grade children’s books about pi and share those as well?
Our first title is Piece of Pi: Wit-Sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi by Naila Bokhari and illustrated by S. O’Shaughnessy (2005). Not only does this book explain what pi is and how it came about, it also has some great hands-on activities to help students learn how to apply it.
Why Pi? by Johnny Ball (2009) is not just about pi, but is a general history of math. It covers how humans have used numbers and measured things from the past all the way to the present. This is a follow-up book to the award-winning title, Go Figure, by the same author, which contains information about why all the world’s phone numbers appear in pi.
Finally we have Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan (1999), which is not technically a nonfiction title. It does, however, explain what pi is in a memorable and concrete way, so let’s let it slip in for Pi Day.
When Sir Cumference turns into a dragon, can his family and friends use math to save him?