Tangrams are a puzzle that helps develop spatial-visualization skills, but they may also be used to introduce or reinforce geometrical concepts such as congruency, similarity, symmetry, and so forth. This unit for grades 4 through 6 uses tangrams to compute the area of polygons without formulas. In the process of doing so, the terms congruent and similar are introduced.
Constructing Your Own Set of Tangrams
The Area of Tangram Pieces [answer sheet]
More Tangram Activities [answer sheet]
Other Tangram Resources
- The Math Forum graciously provided the environment and resources that made this project possible. Sarah Seastone was especially helpful.
- Thanks to Suzanne Alejandre for a critical reading of the paper version of these lessons, valuable suggestions, and numerous pointers into the online literature.
- The lesson Constructing Your Own Set of Tangrams is modeled after the article "How to make the 7 pieces of a Tangram" by Karen Tobler.
- My son, Brian Scavo, produced a seemingly endless flow of geometric constructions using tangrams, some of which will be seen on these pages. Now if only I had time to convert more of Brian's cool drawings into computer images!
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