Lesson Plan

Tangrams: An Ancient Chinese Puzzle

How do you build spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills while doing something that is fun? With tangrams! In honor of Chinese New Year, this lesson introduces your students to the Chinese puzzle of tangrams.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the All About Tangram Puzzles pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the All About Tangram Puzzles pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to follow the tangram puzzle rules to use the seven shapes to create a picture.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments

Introduction

(5 minutes)
Color a Tangram TemplateEasy Tangrams Puzzle #1Easy Tangrams Puzzle #2Easy Tangrams Puzzle #3Easy Tangrams Puzzle #4Easy Tangrams Puzzle #5Easy Tangrams Puzzle #6Easy Tangrams Puzzle #7Easy Tangrams Puzzle #8
  • Explain to students that the Chinese New Year is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar.
  • Tell students that this a period of celebrations and festivities as they ring in the new year with wishes of happiness and luck.
  • Explain to students that one way that to celebrate and honor the Chinese New Year is by working with tangrams.
  • Tell students that tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzles that are made from seven different shapes: five triangles, one square, and one parallelogram. These shapes can be moved around to create your own picture, such as an animal, or something you would see in nature, such as a flower.

Beginning

  • Read aloud a story about Chinese or Lunar New Year to provide deeper context about the celebration.
  • Define key terms for students in both English and student home language (L1).

Intermediate

  • Ask students to think of other kinds of celebrations they are familiar with and have them turn and talk to share with a partner.
  • Display a variety of puzzles and ask students to share what they know about puzzles.

Related Guided Lesson

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kindergarten
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