Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Understanding Pi
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Students learn the mathematical value of pi through the process of measuring circumference. Students conduct hands-on calculations for cylindrical objects, demonstrate the properties of a circle, and discover for themselves how pi works.

Pi Picture Grade Level:


Subject Matter:


Curricular Uses:

Pi, Basic Geometry, Irrational and Rational Numbers, Ratios

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  •   Measure the circumference of an object to the nearest sixteenth of an inch.
  •   Measure the diameter of an object to the nearest sixteenth of an inch.
  •   Explain why 3.14 is used as an approximation for pi.
  •   Demonstrate why one may compute pi by dividing the circumference of an object by its diameter.
  •   Discover and apply the formula for calculating the circumference of an object by using pi.
  •   Learn the definitions of rational and irrational numbers and see specific examples of each.
  •   Understand why pi is an irrational number.

    Use of Internet: The Internet is used as a research tool. It also helps students see and hear visual and musical representations of pi.

    This lesson was developed by Emily Crawford, Linda George, and Tracy Goodson-Espy.