How many different pumpkin-carving methods have you tried? There’s the traditional toothy grin with shining triangle eyes, while more advanced carvers can use paper patterns or pencils. You can even paint your pumpkin instead of carving it.
But there’s one method we guarantee you and your child haven’t tried, and that’s the tangram-o’-lantern.
What is a Tangram?
If you’re not familiar with the tangrams, it’s a type of puzzle that originated in China. It includes seven different pieces, also called “tans,” that compose the shape of a square. There are five triangles, one square, and one parallelogram.
In order to solve a tangram, you have to look at the silhouette of a shape made with the seven pieces and use your own pieces to recreate the image. It’s a great exercise for students because it covers geometry, fractions, and ratios.
If you’re wondering what tangrams have to do with pumpkin carving, find out in our Tangram-O’-Lantern activity. It allows your student to work with tangrams and use their shapes to create distinct pumpkins. You can also take a look at our tangram resources and other activities, but first click on the graphic below to start your Tangram-O’-Lantern.
Supplement your virtual school lessons with print and online tangram resources for students.
- Solve a series of tangram puzzles for kids(opens in a new tab) by dragging and rotating the shapes across the screen.
- Find plenty of tangram puzzles(opens in a new tab) to solve with your printable tangram shapes.
- Browse the titles of tangram books(opens in a new tab) and links to online tangram resources.
More Tangram Activities
Take your tangram skills to a new level by trying these tangram challenges.
Square challenge. Form a square with the seven pieces. What methods did you use to figure out the puzzle? Next, create two squares with the pieces. How many different ways can you do it? Here are some other polygonal shapes you can try to form:
- A rectangle
- A triangle
- A trapezoid
Create your own puzzle. Use your pieces to create the shape of an animal, person, or other object on a piece of paper. Consider forming more shapes that represent Halloween. Once the pieces are in place, use a pen or pencil to trace around the outside edge of your shape. Now you can present your puzzle to a friend or family member and see if he or she can solve it.
Illustrate a story with tangrams. Write a short story and create original tangram puzzles to help illustrate it. You can also try creating tangrams to help depict the story in one of your favorite books.
How does your student like solving tangrams? Let us know if they help your student’s math skills.