Tangram Shape Art


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Give each student a set of tangrams. Have students identify all seven pieces. Give them time to explore and have them put the seven pieces in a perfect square, as well as time to create different shapes. Students may use the tangram template to guide them if needed.

Distribute tangram card outlines and ask students to identify each image. Have students work in pairs to try to recreate each image with their tangrams. Provide corresponding solution cards for students to reference.

Lesson Process:

Step 1: Display pieces of geometric visual art. Have students create the shapes they identify using their tangrams. Explore how the elements of shape affect both the outcome of the tangram and the composition of the visual art examples.

Step 2: Read Grandfather Tang’s Story (Ann Tompert). As you read the story, students can try to figure out the next animal by using the clues given in the reading. Have students arrange their tangrams to replicate each image as you read the story.

Step 3: Have students create and draw a new tangram animal. They will then write a new page for the story to introduce their animal, and illustrate this page, including their tangram animal.

Time Required:
30-45 minutes

Materials List:

  • Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert
  • A set of tangrams for each student
  • Tangram template
  • Tangram cards
  • Drawing paper
  • Drawing pencils


Formative Choices.

Observe students working alone and in pairs to reason with their tangram shapes to recreate given images, as well as to create new ones.