Tangrams and Fractions

Grade Range:  4-8

Class time: 2 hours

Subject Areas: Math

Overview:  Students will explore tangrams online or in person and review fractions and geometry.

What are Tangrams

  • The tangram (Chinese: 七巧板; pinyinqīqiǎobǎnlit. ‘seven boards of skill’) is a dissection puzzle consisting of seven flat polygons, called tans, which are put together to form shapes. The objective is to replicate a pattern (given only an outline) generally found in a puzzle book using all seven pieces without overlap. (source: Wikipedia)

Play online

Play with Tangrams on Mathigon.

Fabrication and Math Activity

Copy this page of Printable Tangrams onto colored paper or cardstock and have each student cut them out to create their own tangram set

Laser Cutter: Use a laser cutter, to cut out pieces of cardboard, wood, or acrylic.

Have students work through this Tangram Activity– be sure to look at the math section first to check if it is appropriate for your students’ level. Feel free to make a copy of the activity and edit it to differentiate.

Extension Activities:

After the students design their symbol it is up to the teacher to expand on the activity the following are some ideas that would work.  Please let the MFL team know if you think of anything that should be added to this list!

ART: have students research Chinese art and decorate their tangrams in a traditional way.

HISTORY:  Ancient China!

MATH: Fractions and proportions.

ELA:  have students create an animal out of their tans and then make up a character for the animal. They can trace or tape the tans onto a piece of paper and color a background for their character.

Please take pictures of the work you do after the MFL visit and send them to the MFL team along with any anecdotal information about who the project went.  Or, if you combine a few of the extensions and have the students present their work, please invite the MFL team!