Did you know that next Saturday is Pi Day? Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14) as a fun way to honor the mathematical constant π, which is 3.14… This year Pi Day will have extra significance because on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m. the date and time will represent the first 10 digits of π!
The traditional way to celebrate Pi Day is to bake a pie decorated with a π symbol and share it. This year, why not pull out some middle grade children’s books about pi and share those as well?
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan
Not exactly nonfiction, but a classic for Pi Day, this book is the second of a very popular series that turns common math concepts into memorable stories. Meet the regulars in King Arthur’s court, such as Sir Cumference, his wife Lady Di of Ameter, their son Radius, and the carpenter, Geo of Metry. When Sir Cumference turns into a dragon, can his family and friends use math to save him? Although it looks a bit like a picture book, the concepts are actually for middle grades.
See someone reading the book in this video .
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 1999)
Why Pi? (Big Questions) by Johnny Ball.
Why Pi? is not just about pi, but is a general history of all things math. It covers how humans have used numbers and measured things from the past all the way to the present. Pages are bright colors, some contrasted with black like the cover. This is a follow-up book to the award-winning title, Go Figure, by the same author, which contains information about why all the world’s phone numbers appear in pi.
Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: DK (August 31, 2009)
Piece of Pi: Wit-Sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi (Grades 6-8) by Naila Bokhari and illustrated by S. O’Shaughnessy
Not only does this book explain what pi is and how it came about, it also has some great hands-on activities to help students learn how to apply it.
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Prufrock Press (January 1, 2005)
More information about Pi Day and suggestions for activities at Growing With Science
See a list of Math Books for Pi Day and Every Day at Science Books for Kids
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Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.