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Lesson Plans
Chinese Tangrams
3rd–4th Grade
Objectives Objective

Students will be able to use tangram pieces to demonstrate spatial reasoning and geometric modeling.

Materials Materials Needed
Introduction Introduction

Explain to students that a tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle made of seven pieces that form a square. In honor of Chinese New Year, invite students to listen as you read aloud Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert. Before you read, ask students to pay close attention to the different pictures that are made using various tangram pieces. Challenge them to figure out which shapes are used to make the pictures.



  1. At the conclusion of the story, give each student a copy of the Tangram Shapes and Tangram Template page. Have students cut apart the tangram pieces.
  2. Select an image from the story and hold it up for students to see. Challenge them to work with a partner and use their tangram pieces to recreate the picture.
  3. After a few minutes, invite students to share how they figured out the correct placement of the tangram pieces to create the picture.
  4. Choose a new picture from the story and have students try reproducing the picture on their own.

Guided/Independent Practice

Guided/Independent Practice

  1. Download these Tangram Shapes and Tangram Designs pages. Encourage students to follow the directions and arrange their tangrams correctly on the page to complete the pictures.
  2. Once they feel confident with this task, challenge students to arrange their tangram pieces on a blank piece of paper to create their own pictures.
  3. Ask students to trace around the perimeter of the picture, then remove the tangram pieces so that only an outline remains.
  4. Finally, have children trade outlines with a partner and try to recreate each other‘s pictures with their tangram pieces.

the 3rd–4th grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)




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