Math = Love: The Egg of Columbus Puzzle

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Egg of Columbus Puzzle

For the 4th grade class my husband and I teach at church on Wednesday nights, we were tasked with coming up with an Easter craft or activity. I'm not the type to break out paint or glitter in these situations because I hate the clean-up and chaos of the entire experience.

Earlier this year, I was browsing through and ran across a new-to-me tangram style puzzle called the "Egg of Columbus." I decided this would be perfect to try out with our group of 4th graders!

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I used the snipping tool to grab the egg image and printed them two to a sheet on different colors of paper.

Next, I spent some quality time with the laminator. I figured that 4th graders might be a bit rough on these pieces. Plus, I wanted them to be able to take their puzzles home with them to keep.

My next step of preparation involved making a "poof book" for the students to assemble that included different challenges that they could complete with their egg pieces. The cover of the poof book included the solution to the egg puzzle.

This book is assembled from just a single sheet of letter sized paper. If you're not sure how to fold/assemble a poof book, check out this blog post for step-by-step directions. 

Our students' first task was to cut out their Egg of Columbus pieces.

Next, we challenged them to reassemble the pieces into the egg shape. This turned out to be much harder for them than I anticipated. Numerous students made comments along the lines of "This is impossible!" I reminded them that the pieces had been in the form of an egg before they cut them out!

Next, I blew their minds with the assembly of the poof book. After assembling their book of challenges, each student picked a picture of their choosing to try and make with their pieces.

I have uploaded the files I made for the puzzle and poof book using the images from ThinkFun and here.

Want a sturdier version of this puzzle for your puzzle table? There are several options worth looking into on Amazon.

This wooden version (affiliate link) is super affordable and comes with free shipping, but I'm a bit worried about the fact that there aren't any reviews.

ThinkFun produces a commercial version of this puzzle known as Scrambled Egg (affiliate link).

Monkey Pod Games (affiliate link) produces a very nice version, but it's a little more expensive than I would want to spend for my classroom.

If you prefer to eat your puzzle after you have solved it, you might be interested in an Egg of Columbus cookie cutter (affiliate link)!

If you have access to a 3D printer, you can 3D print your puzzle pieces!

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