What is your favorite kind of pie? Apple? Cherry? Pecan? Or maybe your favorite “pie” is the number 3.14.
Well, actually, we’re talking about pi, which is a mathematical number used to calculate the circumference of a circle. Pi is known as an irrational number, which means that it continues forever and has no pattern – in other words, we’ll never be able to calculate all of its digits!
For thousands of years, mathematicians from all over the world have pondered this mysterious number and used it in many fields such as architecture, physics, biology, and space travel. Every year on March 14 (aka 3/14), people the world over celebrate Pi Day by eating pies, learning about math, and trying to recite the digits of pi as far as they can. In 2015, a man named Rajveer Meena was able to recite from memory 70,000 digits of pi, setting a world record. It took him almost 10 hours to say all of the numbers!
That’s quite a march of numbers, one might say.
Speaking of March, this month gets its name from Mars, the Roman god of war. If you recall, the Roman calendar used to be quite different – March actually used to be the first month of the year. With the weather warming up, this meant that farmers could return to their fields and begin planting again. It also meant that armies could resume their activities, and so the month of March involved a lot of marching off to war.
March is a time to reflect on the courage of women throughout American history as we observe Women’s History Month. As with much of history, we can see how past heroines have affected the present. For example, Susan B. Anthony spent most of her life in the 1800’s pushing for women to have the right to vote, which paved the way for women to be treated more equally in the 1900’s and beyond, and today we have Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Amy Coney Barrett. In 1932, Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and then later in 1983 Dr. Sally Ride became the first American Woman to fly into outer space.
The flower of the month is the daffodil. These yellow and white flowers are usually the first to bloom in the springtime, and are seen as symbols of energy and vitality.
The gemstone of the month is the aquamarine. This blue gemstone is often associated with keeping sailors safe at sea, giving them the courage to face the dangers of the ocean. It is also thought to bring peace and understanding to married couples, allowing them to enjoy a long, happy marriage. It is sometimes given as a 19th anniversary present.
There are 31 days in March.
This depends. Most schools schedule a week of spring break during March, although some schedule theirs in early April.
Here is a resource with nearly 69,000 lesson plans for March.
March is a great time to reflect on the meaning of courage. What does it take to be considered brave? What fears do we have, and how can we face them?Using famous women in American History can make for a great starting point by highlighting the obstacles and fears that they had to overcome in order to be successful. Have your students research women throughout American History and reflect on their impact today.
In mathematics, it is a great time to learn about pi, irrational numbers, and its applications to science and engineering.
March is also a good time to discuss the equinox and daylight savings time.
Yes, please do. Enjoy!