Teaching Students About Tangram

Tangram, an ancient Chinese puzzle game, has gained popularity in education circles worldwide due to its unique ability to teach children fundamental concepts in geometry, spatial skills, problem-solving, and creativity. Consisting of seven flat geometric pieces called ‘tans,’ Tangram challenges students to form various shapes and objects by arranging these pieces without overlapping them. This article delves into the importance of Tangram in education and offers educators innovative techniques for teaching this fascinating game.

The Benefits of Teaching Tangram

1. Enhanced Spatial Skills: Tangram puzzles actively engage students in manipulating geometric shapes to create specific forms. This hands-on engagement cultivates their spatial awareness and visual-spatial skills.

2. Increased Problem-Solving Abilities: The trial-and-error nature of the game enables students to design strategies when solving complex puzzles. They learn how to approach problems systematically and adapt their thinking when encountering difficulties.

3. Strengthened Understanding of Geometry Concepts: As students arrange the different tans, they naturally explore fundamental geometric concepts such as congruence, symmetry, and similarity

4. Boosted Creativity: With numerous possible solutions for a single Tangram puzzle, children have the opportunity to think outside the box and develop their imaginative skills.

Innovative Techniques for Teaching Tangram

1. Story-Based Lessons: Begin your Tangram lesson by telling an engaging story that features the various puzzle shapes as protagonists. Invite students to recreate these characters using their tans and progress through the tale while experimenting with spatial relations between the characters.

2. Collaborative Group Work: Divide your class into teams and assign each group a specific Tangram challenge. Encourage them to strategize and communicate effectively while fostering teamwork among group members.

3. Design Your Own Puzzle: Encourage creative expression by encouraging students to design their own Tangram puzzles along with corresponding silhouettes. This will allow them to appreciate the intricacies and complexities of the game while honing their design skills.

4. Tangram Competitions: Organize intra-class or inter-class contests, urging students to solve puzzles at a designated time. This friendly competitive environment can motivate learners to excel in their problem-solving abilities.

5. Technology Integration: Leverage the possibilities of digital platforms like Tangram-based apps and interactive websites. These multimedia resources can offer more visually appealing, challenging, and varied puzzles for students to explore.


Teaching Tangram is more than just a delightful pastime for students; it fosters multiple skills beneficial for their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. By incorporating innovative methods when introducing this ancient game, educators pave the way for active learning and engagement. Dive into the fascinating world of Tangram and unearth its potential to create a vibrant, enriched learning environment for your students.

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