Q&A #1627


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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 03, 1999 at 20:33:37
Subject: Re: Tangrams

Using tangrams gives students an opportunity to use a manipulative set to
construct understanding of geometric ideas. Using tangrams can help
students develop spatial skills. They can move the pieces around to note the
relationships, and learn about flips, slides and turns (reflections,
rotations, and translations). They create vivid images for students who are
visually oriented, too. Some educators believe they engage both sides of the

Besides moving the pieces around, they can be combined to create other
shapes. This can be the beginning of an exploration of area and perimeter.
Congruency, similarity, and symmetry can also be explored. Similarly, giving
students opportunites to use and talk about several different geometric
shapes can help students become more intutive about geometry.

Using tangrams can be a multicultural experience for students. There are
several language arts activities centered around tangrams, so there is also
an interdiciplinary connection.

I am guessing that these are used mainly with elementary grades, and even
then, with Kindergarten through Grade 2, primarily. That is a shame though,
since there are applications for older students as well.

I think tangrams are easy to make, inexpensive to purchase, and very
versatile, so I would say they are probably used all over this country. I
would not be surprised to learn we are not the only country to use them,

Hope this is what you were looking for.

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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