Pi in the Sky Mobile

Lesson #10097

Create a stimulating Pi mobile for fun learning and classroom decor.

Identify Pi as a value used for measuring area and circumference of circles and associate Pi with all things that are circular. A creative mobile suspended from a circular Ring conveys the importance of Pi in measuring circles. Select any circle-shaped object to reinforce understanding of Pi and hang from your ceiling as stimulating classroom decor. As a next step, consider finding the circumference and volume of each shape suspended from the mobile.

Incorporate the concept of Pi into artwork to celebrate Math Awareness Month, Pi Day or just for some math fun.

12234-LG-Ellison SureCut Die - Bicycle - Large 14488-XL-Ellison SureCut Die - Ring - XL 16188-4IN-Ellison SureCut Die - Pi Math Sign - 4 Inch 25115-LG-Ellison SureCut Die - Basketball #2 - Large 25129-LG-Ellison SureCut Die - Soccer Ball #2 - Large

Note: The 3 Inch Pi Math Sign has been retired. Consider substituting with the 4 Inch Pi Math Sign. Balance your mobile accordingly.

Supplies Used: Construction Paper, Fishing Line, Glue, Ribbon, Scissors, String

The teacher will die-cut the materials for student use prior to the lesson.

  1. Die-cut two orange Basketballs #2, four green Pi Math Signs, two cream Bicycles, two blue Rings and two black Soccer Balls #2.
  2. Die-cut an additional Ring from chipboard.
  3. Die-cut two more Soccer Balls from white paper and two more Bicycles from black and silver construction paper.
  4. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, each measuring 10" in length.
  5. Cut five pieces of fishing line or string ranging from 4" to 7" in length.
  6. Place an end of one piece of string between two Basketballs and adhere (Figure A).
  7. Place an end of one piece of a second piece of string between two Pi symbols and adhere (Figure B).
  8. Repeat step 6 with a third piece of string for the two remaining Pi symbols.
  9. Place an end of the fourth piece of string between two cream bicycles and adhere. Trim away highlights from the black and silver bicycles, layer and adhere to both sides of the cream Bicycle (Figure C).
  10. Place an end of the fifth piece of string between two black Soccer Balls and adhere. Trim away highlights from the white Soccer Ball and adhere on each side of the black Soccer Balls (Figure D).
  11. Punch four evenly spaced holes for the ribbon and five evenly spaced holes for the string through the Ring (Figure E).
  12. Slide each of the five strings through the bottom of the ring and tie at the top to secure in place. Considering securing with tape as well.
  13. Slide each of the four pieces of ribbon through the top of the ring and tie a knot at the bottom to secure in place.
  14. Bring the top ends of the ribbon together and tie a knot to create the hanger (see Main Photo).

  • Figure A

  • Figure B

  • Figure C

  • Figure D

  • Figure E

Math: Measurement

Instructional programs from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 5 should enable all students to understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems and processes of measurement.

  • In grades 6-8, all students should develop and use formulas to determine the circumference of circles and the area of triangles, parallelograms, trapezoids and circles and develop strategies to find the area of more-complex shapes.
  • In grades 9-12, all students should understand and use formulas for the area, surface area and volume of geometric figures, including cones, spheres and cylinders.

Standards are listed with permission from Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, copyright 2000 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). NCTM does not endorse the content or validity of these alignments.

Source: Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

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