Tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle. This activity is sometimes called “seven pieces of cleverness”. The object of the puzzle is to rearrange the pieces of a square (the puzzle pieces) to form figures (like a picture of a cat) using the tangram pieces.
- Paper (cardstock or other thick paper works well)
- Ruler and Pencil, or a Printer
Start by making a square piece of paper. To start making the square, fold one corner of a piece of paper over to the adjacent side. Or, go to a tangram template to print and skip the next 3 steps.
To finish making the square, cut off the small rectangle, forming a square.
Fold the square piece of paper in half, then in half again (making a square that is divided into quarters). Repeat this step (resulting in a square divided into sixteenths).
Unfold the paper.
Draw lines along the red lines marked at the left. Cut along these lines.
You will now have seven pieces: a small square, two small isosceles triangles, a medium-sized isosceles triangle, two large isosceles triangles, and a parallelogram.
An isosceles triangle has two equal angles and two equal sides. A parallelogram is a four-sided figure with each side parallel to the opposite side.
You can arrange these seven pieces into an incredible number of shapes, making animals, people, everyday objects, etc. See how many you can make - invent new ones!