TANGRAMS - An Introduction

The origins of the tangram puzzle are not known with any certainty, but the idea is thought to have originated in China about 250 years ago.
You need a set of tangram pieces to work on these puzzles.

To make a set of tangram pieces
Cut out a square piece of card.
About 6 or 8 cm square is a good size.
Lightly mark a 4 by 4 grid of squares on it, as shown in the diagram on the right, to act as guide-lines.
4 by 4 grid
4 by 4 gridDraw in the lines shown on the left (in red) and cut out along those lines.
This should make the 7 pieces of the tangram as shown below.

7 tangram pieces
These 7 pieces are the basis of all tangram puzzles.
For each puzzle a shape is given, and you have to find how to make that shape using

Here is an example of a puzzle and its solution -

Here are 3 puzzles for you to try


Go here to see solutions to the above 3 puzzles
OR go to Tangram Puzzles Set 1

Tangrams - Other Sources

Many of the books on this subject are out of print but are listed here because they are
a very good source of ideas and should be available through the usual library channels.
Tangram,the Ancient Chinese shapes gameJoost Elffers
Penguin Books 1976ISBN ?
Contains over 1500 Tangram puzzles (and their solutions)
Tangrams, 330 puzzlesRonald C Read
Dover Publications 1965ISBN 486 21483 4
It also introduces a 15-piece puzzle.
The 8th Book of TanSam Loyd
Dover Publications 1968ISBN 0 486 220117
A Tangram TaleWilliam Cameron
Brockhampton Press 1972ISBN 0 340 15949 9
A picture story of the Willow Pattern told in Tangrams
For a historical account of the tangram puzzle and several examples of similar types of puzzles see
Creative Puzles of the WorldPieter van Delft & Jack Botermans
Cassel Ltd 1978ISBN 0 304 303003
Puzzles Old and NewJerry Slocum & Jack Botermans
ADM International 1987ISBN 1 85336 018 X

The Web has plenty of sites dealing with Tangrams
You could go to the excellent Search Engine www.google.com/ and ask for 'tangrams'
Or to a very good site, with lots of material and also many links to other sites at
Work intended specifically for the classroom can be found on this site here