Math = Love: Tangram Challenge Binder

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Tangram Challenge Binder

This school year, I'm taking two approaches to incorporating puzzles into my classroom on a regular basis. Every Monday, I put a new magnetic puzzle up on the dry erase board. For example, last week we tackled the Domino Effect Puzzle.

I also have a table that I have designated as the "Puzzle Table." These puzzles tend to be more hands-on puzzles with lots of different challenges using the same set of hands-on pieces. For the first month and a half of school, my students really enjoyed the SOMA Challenges I shared about this past summer.

This week, the SOMA blocks are going back in the cabinet and being traded out for TANGRAMS!

After my first year of teaching, I invested in a class set of tangrams (affiliate link). I love using tangrams as a growth mindset puzzle at the beginning of the year by asking students to create a square using all 7 tangrams. Don't need 30 tangram sets? Amazon also sells four sets for just a couple of dollars!

With the SOMA Challenges, my students really enjoyed being able to flip through the binder of puzzles and choose a challenge to work on. So I decided to give my students the same binder full of challenges to complete with the Tangrams.

I got the tangram pictures from my favorite clipart website - Clipart ETC. The website is chock-full of educational clipart that can be used by teachers 100% for FREE. My most-used section of their website is their collection of coordinate plane clipart. They have an entire section of Tangram Clipart that made putting together this binder super easy.

I love that there is a great variety of images. Hopefully, my students will all be able to find some Tangram Challenges that capture their interest. There are 97 different challenges which should keep my students busy for a very long while.

If you don't want to put out all the challenges at once, you could also put one up each day/week/etc with magnets.

To save you the work of copying and pasting the tangram clipart yourself, I've shared the file of tangram challenges here.


  1. Thanks for sharing these! Are the images proportional to the blocks so that students could put the shapes on the image as they solve? (Sometimes I give students an outline to follow, so just wondering if this would work.)

    1. Tricia,
      We have used Tangrams in our classroom to explore working with shapes in a hands on and engaging way that gets students talking about geometry and the properties of shapes. One activity that worked really well was giving the students a piece of paper with an animal on it and they had to use a given set of Tangrams to create the animal. Students would set the shapes on top of the animal; the only outline was the outside of the animal so students were exploring the shapes by figuring out what filled the inside of the animal. Overall, such a fun activity for students to explore geometry.

  2. Using Tangrams is a great way for students to begin exploring the properties of shapes. This is a great manipulative to use to begin progressing through the Van De Walle stages of Geometric Thought.