Tangram Project

This Tangram Project activity & project also includes:

Tangrams make geometry tangible for students of all levels, and are an instructional favorite from elementary school on. In this high school lesson, however, the basic premises of tangram combinations are extended to an investigation of perimeter and area using right triangle principles. Pupils get practice in manipulating the arithmetic of square root expressions while also reinforcing the relationships between right triangles, parallelograms, and squares.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Could be done in pair teams as a class-wide challenge or competition
  • Extendable by using any tangram shapes available, or having teams create their own shapes
Classroom Considerations

  • Each pupil/team will need access to a classic 7-tangram set
  • When printing, ensure that "Page Scaling" is set to "None," or all shapes print smaller than measurements indicated
Pros

  • Abstract right triangle relationships are concretized with tangram manipulatives
  • Kinesthetic learning and problem-solving skills emphasized
Cons

  • Repeated area calculations are superfluous - any shape using all seven tangrams has the same area
  • Not clearly explained that the areas found in the first part correspond to the five distinct shapes, and that the seven-tangram set contains two repeated shapes
  • No answer key provided
Common Core