Pumpkin Pi: Fall Celebrations and Circumference

By Stacey Burt on October 14, 2009
  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8


Peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, tried and true: some things just “go together.” For instance, pumpkins and fall, it just makes sense. While planning for the upcoming weeks, I decided I wanted to incorporate activities that involved pumpkins into my math lessons. During my research, I ran across a photograph of a pumpkin carved with the Pi symbol in it, and that started the ball rolling. “Pumpkin Pi,” I loved it!


Peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, tried and true: some things just “go together.” For instance, pumpkins and fall, it just makes sense. While planning for the upcoming weeks, I decided I wanted to incorporate activities that involved pumpkins into my math lessons. During my research, I ran across a photograph of a pumpkin carved with the Pi symbol in it, and that started the ball rolling. “Pumpkin Pi,” I loved it!

Using the photograph as a jumping off point, I was inspired to take “booing” (what has now become an annual neighborhood tradition) and adapt it for my 6th grade math classes. By combining “booing” (leaving gifts anonymously for others with the assumption that one will “boo” another family, and so on) and circumference I thought I might be on to something.

My math classes are going to start the tradition of “Pi-ing” other classes this year. We have created a poem for the class to read before eating their goodies and a sign to post outside their classroom door to let others know that they have been “Pied.” While our upper grades have probably had an introduction or some practical experience with using Pi, I thought it would be a great introduction to circumference for the younger students. The goodies the students are given are round (Oreos, peanut butter cups, cookies, etc.) and the idea is that the “pied” class will have to calculate the circumference of their goodies before consuming them; the poem helps. Also included in the poem is that the class now has the responsibility to “Pi” another class (anonymously, of course).

 Attached are the poem and a copy of the sign to put with the class’ goodies. I reworked the traditional “Boo-ed” poem and you will need to change the name of the school to fit your setting. Hope you enjoy the activity and have a wonderful fall.

Download Pi-ed poem

Download Pumpkin pi sign

The Librarian Who Measured the EarthClick the pictures to access information on these books

Cheers-

Stacey

Comments

Thank you for another fun way to incorporate math into the season.

You're welcome, Carmen. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

Stacey

Stacey,

I was just logging onto the Scholastic site and lo' and behold, there you were. It was awesome to see you right up there with R.L. Stine. Of course, I sent a quick message out to everyone to check it out. It is an awesome idea! I miss you.

Michele

Michele-

What a wonderful surprise! Thanks for taking the time to post and for the kind words. While I love, love my new school (awesome group of teachers), I miss you all terribly. HNIS will always be home to me.

Love you-

Stacey

What a great idea!

Thanks Katherine!

I think you could personalize and adapt it to meet your students' needs.

Cheers-

Stacey

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