Lesson Plan

Composing Shapes

Students will love composing and decomposing two-dimensional shapes using tangram puzzle pieces. Use this plan alone or to frontload key vocabulary and concepts taught in the lesson plan **Know Your Shapes.**
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Terrific Tangrams! lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Terrific Tangrams! lesson plan.



Students will be able to use basic shapes to create composite shapes.


Students will be able to describe the attributes two-dimensional shapes and the steps to create composite shapes with content-specific vocabulary using hands-on materials, visuals, and peer support.


(5 minutes)
Color a Tangram TemplateVocabulary Cards: Composing ShapesGlossary: Composing ShapesTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Ask students to give you a thumbs up if they have ever done a puzzle. Show a few examples of different puzzles.
  • Tell students that today they will be using pieces from a special type of puzzle called a tangram. Define tangram as an ancient Chinese puzzle that uses shapes to create different pictures. Explain that "ancient" means that these puzzles are very old, and were created a long, long time ago. Display the tangram Vocabulary Card.
  • Instruct students to turn and talk to a partner to name as many different shapes as they can. Tell students that some of those shapes are part of a tangram puzzle.
  • Tell students that today they will practice being "shape detectives" who search for shapes hidden within other shapes.

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