Learning about circles and how to find their circumference is something that all sixth-graders will learn about in school. The key to helping students master circumference and the properties of circles is to make the activity fun and engaging. There are many ways to make learning about circles and circumference fun, including using songs and games.
The website Rhythm Rhyme Results (at educationalrap.com) has a rap song titled "Circumference: It Just Makes Sense" that can be used to help sixth-grade students learn about circumference. The song uses lyrics to teach the formula for circumference and gives examples of things that you may need to calculate circumference for, such as rocks and jars. Sixth-grade students will love this modern take on an old geometry concept. Teachers can use the song as a whole group activity or allow individual students to listen for practice.
A simple piece of yarn can help sixth-grade students learn about the circumference of circles. Give each student a piece of yarn and a ruler. Instruct the students that they need to measure the piece of string and record the length. Ask the students to make a circle on their desk with the string. Inform the students that the circumference of a circle is the distance around the circle. Ask them what the circumference of their circle is. If the students answer the measurement that they previously recorded, they have shown that they understand the concept of circumference.
The story "The Librarian Who Measured the Earth" describes how an ancient geometer estimated the circumference of the earth. The website www.learningthroughlistening.com offers a recording of the story to use with accompanying worksheets provided by the website. Some of the activities include taking notes while listening to the story and measuring a sample circle. In order to gain full access, you must register with the site, but there is no fee. Using storybooks is a great way to engage students in learning about circumference.
Circumference Memory Game
Games are a fun way to teach sixth-grade students about circumference. The website www.algebra4children.com has an online memory game that helps students to calculate the circumference of circles. Students are given 12 cards that are sorted face down. The object of the game is to match a circle with a given radius to its circumference. The winner is the student who matches the most pairs correctly. This activity is good to close out a lesson on circumference and circles.
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