# What Are Tangrams?

LIke a pangram, a word puzzle which neatly places the entire alphabet into a sentence, a tangram neatly places different shapes into a bigger shape.

01
of 03

## Tangram Pattern in PDF (Tangram Worksheet next)

Use the PDF tangram pattern to cut a tangram out of firm paper like card stock.
Large Tangram Pattern
Small Tangram Pattern

02
of 03

03
of 03

## Tangrams Fun: Make the Shapes

Use the tangram pattern in PDF to complete the following questions.

1. Sort the tangram pieces using your own classification or rules.
2. Put two or more of the tangram pieces together to make others shapes.
3. Put two or more of the tangram pieces together to form shapes that are congruent.
4. Use all of the tangram pieces to make a square. DO NOT look at the existing pattern.
5. Use the seven tangram pieces to form a parallelogram.
6. Make a trapezoid with the seven tangram pieces.
7. Use two tangram pieces to make a triangle.
8. Use three tangram pieces to make a triangle.
9. Use four tangram pieces to make a triangle.
10. Use five tangram pieces to make a triangle.
11. Use six tangram pieces to make a triangle.
12. Take the five smallest tangram pieces and make a square. 13. Using the letters on the tangram pieces, determine how many ways you can make:
- squares
- rectangles
- parellelograms
- trapezoids
(Be sure to list all the ways possible to make the above.)
14. Work with a partner to come up with as many mathematical terms or words related to tangrams as you can.
15. Make a rhombus with the smallest three triangles, make a rhombus with the five smallest pieces and make a rhombus with all seven pieces.

The Tangram is an ancient popular Chinese puzzle that is often seen in math classes. The tangram is easy to make. It has seven shapes in total. A tangram has two large triangles, one medium triangle, two little triangles, one parallogram and a square. AND, of course one of the puzzles is to put the seven pieces together to form the big square.

Tangrams are just one of the manipulatives used to make math both fun and to enhance the concept. When math manipulatives are used, the concept is often more clearly understood.

Activities like these help to promote problem solving and critical thinking while at the same time as providing motivation for the tasks. Students usually prefer to have hands on math versus pencil/paper tasks. Explore time is essential for students to make connections, another essential skill in math.

Tangrams also come in brightly colored plastic pieces, however, by taking the pattern and printing it on cardstock, students can color the pieces any color they wish. If the printed version is laminated, the tangram pieces will last much longer.

Tangram pieces can also be used for measuring angles, identifying the types of angles, identifying triangle types and measuring area and perimeter of basic shapes/polygons. Have students take each piece and tell as much about the piece as they can. For instance, what shape is it? how many sides? how many vertices? what is the area? what is the perimeter? what are the angle measures? is it symetrical? is it congruent?

You can also search online to find a variety of puzzles that look like animals. All of which can be made with the seven tangram pieces. Sometimes the pieces of the tangram puzzles are called 'tans'. Let students make challenges for each other, for instance 'use A, C and D to make a ...".