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The Tangram Puzzle: Activities and Educational Resources
 

The tangram puzzle is a valuable educational tool. Because the seven pieces of the tangram make up essential geometric shapes, the puzzle can be used to teach students to explore concepts relating to math and geometry.  Below is a sample lesson plan.

Tangram Lesson Plan

Students: Ages 8-12

Objective: To learn concepts of algebra and geometry in an interactive way using the tangram puzzle.

Preparation:

a)     Traceable set of tangrams (you can make them out of paper if you don’t have the wooden ones)

b)     Scissors

c)      Rulers (one per group)

d)     Pen/pencil

e)     Paper

Outline:

- Pass out the materials, and instruct the students to create their own tangrams from the traceable set.  Share the legend behind the tangram as the students trace and cut.

- Describe each of the tangram pieces (a square, a parallelogram, and five triangles) and ask the students to name their unique geometric properties.

Wooden Tangram

- Pair the students into groups, and have each group find the midpoints of the tangrams as well as the diameter and area of the shapes.  Depending on the math level of the students, teachers can lead a discussion that explores everything from coordinate planes to finding the midpoint of a line segment.  The tangram puzzle also provides an excellent way to teach other mathematical principles, such as decimals and percents.

- Older students can perform more advanced calculations, such as using the Pythagorean Theorum to find the area of the triangles, performing complex algebra, and finding the fraction that represents the area of the triangle compared to that of the larger square.

Resources:

Teachers: Monkey Pod Games offers a discount for schools!  Please contact us for details.

Monkey Pod Games offers a beautiful wooden version of the classic tangram puzzle, which is also available in a convenient pocket size or a larger size.  For a modern twist on the classic puzzle—and to add a new dimension to your lesson—we carry a unique egg tangram puzzle and a one-of-a-kind heart tangram puzzle.

 

Additional Resources:

Tangrams Learning Resources by Barbara Bando Irvin

For younger children, we recommend the book “Grandfather Tang’s Story” by Ann Tompert and illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker.  The book tells the story of two fairies who change shape into a variety of animals.  Each new animal is illustrated by a different configuration of the tangram puzzle pieces. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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