Make or use commercial overhead transparencies of the Tangram Puzzle Activity Sheet. You will also want to make enough copies of this activity sheet for each student in the class (cardstock is recommended).
Note: If tangrams and readily available in the classroom, you may choose to use those instead of the cut outs.
Tangram Puzzle Activity Sheet
Use the overhead projector to model how to fill the puzzles with the
tangram pieces. For example, the Tangram School can be filled as shown
Discuss how it is necessary to turn over, rotate, or slide
pieces to complete a puzzle. Provide each student with the tangram puzzle activity sheet. Have students cut out their pieces (or pre-cut them prior to class), and fill out the Trangram School stencil themselves.
For the next part of the lesson, display the Interactive Tangram Puzzles to the students, using an overhead projector or Smart Board.
Interactive Tangram Puzzles
Show the students that what they see on the screen matches the
Tangram pieces they used in the first part of this lesson. Identify
each of the Tangram pieces and compare the virtual ones with the
concrete ones used by the students. Demonstrate how to select a puzzle
piece on the site and move it onto the puzzle outline.
Demonstrate how to "grab" a corner of a shape in order to rotate
it and how to turn a shape over using the curved
arrow icon (once the tangram is clicked on).
You may also wish to show the students how to change the colors of
the shapes. (Selecting a a color and click on the tangram.)
Model for students how
to turn over (flip), rotate, and slide their Tangram pieces with the
concrete tools simultaneous with the electronic tool so that students
understand what happens when they make these transformations.
Using the tools and strategies you just demonstrated, complete one
of the puzzles on the computer while the students observe. A discussion
of what you did and why you did it will help the students hear the
vocabulary and consider the thinking required to complete a puzzle.
Have the students work in pairs to complete the electronic Tangram
puzzles. Encourage them to discuss with each other what needs to be
done to fit the pieces to match the outline of the puzzle. (This
exercise focuses students' attention on the transformations required to
make pieces fit. A turnover, rotation, or slide of pieces may be
necessary to complete the puzzle.) This discourse facilitates students'
problem solving and reasoning about the process. It connects actions
with vocabulary and assists the students in relating what happens with
concrete and virtual tools. Circulate the room while students have this discourse, and take note of students who are struggling or becoming proficient.
After students are done, the Print Screen button can be used to print students' work. As a wrap up activity, pairs of students can share their work (what was most difficult, what feature they used the most, how long it took them, etc.).