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Pi ku Poetry: Writing Pi Day Poems

One of my favorite activities to do with my math students on Pi Day is to write Pi Day poems in the form of pi kus.

My students tend to be familiar with writing haikus, so they tend to take to the activity quite easily. A haiku is a traditional Japanese poem with five, seven, and five syllables, respectively.

Pi Ku Poem Explanation of Syllables and Examples of Poems

What is a Pi Ku Poem?

Since the first three digits in pi are 3, 1, and 4, pi ku poems have three lines consisting of three, one, and four syllables, respectively.

Usually, all I have to do is display the syllable format for the class to see, and they will immediately begin writing their pi day poems.

Pi Ku Poetry Syllable Explanation

Pi Ku Poetry Class Activity

To turn this poetry writing into a class activity, I give each student an index card to write their pi ku poem on.

The index cards I have are lined on one side and blank on the other. Since many of my students struggle with counting syllables in words, I instruct them to write their practice version on the lined side.

Example of Student Written Pi Ku Poem on Index Card

After checking syllables and spelling, students write their final version of their pi ku poem using colored markers on the blank side of the index card.

I have them tape their pi-ku poems to the dry erase board in groups by class period for judging. One year when my husband and I were teaching in the same school, I had him serve as the official Pi Ku Poetry Judge.

Since I told my students he would be judging, some of my students decided to write Australian-themed poems to increase their chances of winning.

Top Tip for Getting More Creative Pi Ku Poetry

In the past, I have written a sample pi ku poem with my students to help them understand the process. While this sounds like a good idea, it does have some downsides.

You will end up with a bunch of very similar pi-kus.

Many of my students would take the poem we wrote together as a class and change a single word or two and call it their own poem.

Whenever I give students very little guidance and just let them write, I tend to get many more creative pi-ku poems from my students.

Student Examples of Pi Ku Poems

Pi Ku Poems Written by Students on Index Cards
First Period’s Pi Ku Poems
Pi Ku Poems Written by Students on Index Cards
3rd Period’s Pi ku Poetry
Pi Ku Poems Written by Students on Index Cards
5th Period’s Pi Day Poems
Pi Ku Poems Written by Students on Index Cards
6th Period Pi Ku Poems

More Pi Ku Poem Examples

You taste so good

No more math
Spring break is here

I can say
Math Equals Love

Pi Oh Pi
Makes me so sad

Math sucks really
but that’s okay

Make pi-kus
What’s going on?

Sleep is good
is what I like

There was pie.
is infinite

I love pi.
Do you love pie?

Math is great
when is spring break?

Let it be
Break Already

Three point one
one five nine two

I just ate
last slice of pie.

You light up
day like Pi Day

I hate pi.
is so stupid.

Starts with 3
Awesome number

Crazy pi

Stupid pi

Starts with 3
Ends with a 4  

Pi Pi Pi
Pi Pi Pi Pi

The number three
and also four

Ms. Hagan
math and pi day    

Why no pie?
There should be some.

Math is great
is very long

Looking for more ideas for celebrating Pi Day? I recommend checking out 32 Creative Ideas for Celebrating Pi Day in Math Class. I also suggest my Pi Day Dice Challenge and Square Pi Puzzle for a fun Pi Day Challenge.

Square Pi Puzzle for Pi Day


Saturday 18th of March 2017

Thank you for the awesome idea, Sarah. The pi-kus were a huge hit in my classes. Some students event extended their Pi-kus beyond 3-1-4.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Tuesday 18th of April 2017

I never would have thought about expanding them. Brilliant!

Susan Hewett

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

In addition to my 4 algebra classes, I also teach a class of English language development (ELD). SInce all of my students are Vietnamese (except 2), and my ELD class is high level, this may be something for a short time in class. :-)

Thanks for the idea!

Katrina P

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

I love this! I may have to used this as a bell-ringer activity tomorrow (I totally forgot it was Pi day until about halfway through the day).

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