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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Pi, and supports the standard of using the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle to solve problems. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display this still from the movie (timestamp: 1:04):

Explain that this is the symbol for pi, which has an approximate value of 3.14. Ask students:

• Where have you seen pi before?
• What do you think it might be used for?
• Why might mathematicians use a symbol to represent pi?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

• Read the description on the Pi topic page.
• Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.

Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Dates and Times” or “Laws and Customs.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE

Students express what they learned about pi while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

• Make-a-Movie: Produce an instructional video for employees at a bakery explaining how to determine the area and circumference of the pies, cakes, and cookies to ensure they’re the correct sizes. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
• Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying and describing features and uses of pi. (Essential  Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases.)
• Creative Coding: Code a math problem challenging others to find the circumference and area of a circle. (Essential Literacy Skill: Integrate content presented in diverse formats)
• Primary Source Activity: Analyze a bill proposed by an amateur mathematician that would have established an incorrect value for pi. Cite evidence to answer accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill:Cite specific evidence to support conclusions drawn)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS

Apply: Students complete the Pi Worksheet, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Pi Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of pi with these topics: Circles and Rational and Irrational Numbers