Pi Day Activities for Middle School


Pi Day Ideas for Middle School Math

Pi day activity using donuts

March 14, also known as Pi Day, is always celebrated in so many ways!Do you have exciting plans for Pi Day activities in your math class?
Maybe you have some tried and true favorites, or maybe you’re looking for some new Pi Day activities for middle school.

​Whether you teach 5th or 6th grade math, elementary math or higher levels of math, Pi Day is a day that can be celebrated and used to explore the concept of Pi.

Pi Day Activity 

Have you tried using donuts to have students discover the Pi relationship between the diameter and the circumference? Or maybe cookies?I tried it with donuts recently…..can be a little messy (especially if the donuts have icing), but fun!

In my pictures, you’ll notice I had some donuts with icing and sprinkles….I’d suggest NOT using those if you want to minimize mess:-)

Materials for this Pi Day activity:
1) Donuts
2) Licorice ‘strings’ for measuring (if you have tape measures that would be best, but I never had those in my classroom, so I went with the string idea)
3) Ruler

Steps for Discovering Pi Using Donuts

Pi day activity using donuts

1) Measure the circumference of the donut using a string of licorice (regular string will work just as well….maybe better, depending on the size of the donuts. I had to use 2 pieces of licorice on my donut, which could result in less accuracy.) Once students mark the circumference on the string or the licorice, they measure that length.

2) Measure the diameter of the donut in the same way.

3) Divide the circumference by the diameter.

Discussing the Results

Chances are that students won’t get exactly 3.14 when they divide their circumference by the diameter. But they should get close if they’ve measured carefully (and if the donuts are close to being perfect circles).Take some time to compare students’ results and help them analyze the data by discussing questions like:
How close are students’ results to each other?

  • Have students list the results on the board as they complete the calculations, so they can see all results.
  • Perhaps find the average of all results.

How close are the calculations to Pi?
What could cause students’ calculations to be less accurate than others’? 

  • Were their donuts perfect circles?
  • How carefully did they measure the circumference and diameter of the donut?
  • How carefully did they move the string to the ruler?

Once the discussion is done, students can enjoy the donut treat!

Pi Day Activity Posts

There are some awesome ideas on other blogs, so I thought I’d link a few for you here:-)

From The Colorado Classroom:
Pi Day Fun
Pi Day – Not Just Another Day 
From Math Giraffe:
Unique Ideas for Pi Day

From We Are Teachers:
31.4 Mathtastic Pi Day Activities for the Classroom

What are your favorite Pi Day activities for middle school, to explore and teach about pi?

Resources to learn about and practice with circle concepts:


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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