Celebration Time. Pi Day is heading our way. And with that I mean ? and not pie (though of course pies DO make a great Pi Day activity). Let’s make a Pi Day Paper Chain.
As I was recently working on some fun Pi Day activities for kids to make in pi day lessons, I came across Science Space Wollongong Pi Day Paper Chain Activity they did back in 2015 (!).
As they no longer seem to have it up on their website, I wanted to share this fun and simple activity with you here:
More about Pi
This is a great activity for elementary school or middle school students. Wonderopolis is a great website to get all your basic Pi questions answered from What is Pi? to What is an irrational number? and of course What is the final digit of pi?
The Pi Day Paper Chain Activity
The idea of a Pi Paper Chain is super simple, you will need a copy of the pi number writen out for as “long”as you want to make your paper chain. As a reference here are two version you may want to consider..
- Pi to 10 digits: 3.1415926535
- Pi to 100 digits (in sets of 10): 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 50288419716939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679
And then a set of coloured paper strips, cut from construction paper, with the numbers 0 – 9 printed out. Alternatively, you can of course simply use coloured paper and a “colour log” – so students have to reference the colour chart for each step.
A simple printable is available in my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s Store. The full color set goes to 20 decimals and is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have 10 sets of colored construction paper but would like to have a quick go! Note.. making a paper chain to 10 decimals only requires 7 colors or 6 if exclude white as a color!
As some glue sticks or stapler and you are ready to go.
Start making your paper chain with each paper chain segment colour corresponding to the Pi number digits.
When last calculated in 2019, ? had been calculated to 31.4 trillion decimal places… so if you can make this into an amazing challenge to see quite how big your Pi Paper Chain can get – check out the fantastic images by CT Post here. However, if you are making this a classroom activity, you can of course decide for yourself, how many decimals the students should get to.. 20 is probably a good amount, to work through the different 0 to 9 digits and colours of paper.
Happy Pi Day!
Check out the rest of the fabulous Pi Day Activities here (including quirky Pi-Ku Poems):