Program Background | Unit Plan | Lesson Plan | Teaching the Lesson |

Lesson Topic: Becoming familiar with the 7-piece Tangram set and following oral instructions to create a personal version of the set |

**National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Grade 3-5 Geometry Standard:**

*Analyzing characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional
geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric
relationships.*

- Students will demonstrate knowledge of how to investigate, describe, and reason about the results of subdividing, combining, and transforming shapes.
- Students will explore congruence and similarity.

*Applying transformations and using symmetry to analyze mathematical
situations. *

- Students will demonstrate knowledge of how to predict and describe the results of sliding, flipping, and turning two-dimensional shapes

**Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, ESL Standards for
Pre-K Students **

- Goal 2: To use English to achieve academically in the content areas
Standard 1: Students will use English to interact in the classroom

- What are Tangrams?
- What are the geometric relationships among common shapes?
- What happens when shapes are flipped, slid, or rotated a shape?
- What designs can be made using only the shapes of the Tangram?

**Content Area Skills and Concepts**

- Name and classify Tangram shapes
- Learn how shapes can be manipulated by flipping, sliding, and rotating
them, and how they can be combined to create new shapes or designs

**Language Skills**

*Math Vocabulary *

- Tangram/ Tan (each of the 7 individual pieces)
- Square
- Flip, slide, rotate
- Small, medium, large
- Fold, cut
- Congruent
- Similar

*Listening*

- Comprehending oral instructions

*Speaking *

- Giving precise instructions using command form verbs and providing
clarification as needed.
Examples:

“Pick up the small/medium/large _______.”

“Put the small/medium/large ________ next to/below/above the_____.”

“Rotate the small/medium/large _______ clockwise/counterclockwise.”

- Requesting clarification
Examples:

“Could you repeat that, please?”

“Where should I put the ______?”

**Thinking/Study Skills**

- Following oral instructions

- Copy of Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams.
- Magnetic set of Tangrams or prearranged sets of Tangrams to demonstrate the transformations at the heart of Grandfather Tang’s Story
- Teacher-made recording of oral instructions on how to make a Tangram
from card stock cut into 6” squares

**Whole Group Activity**

Read aloud *
Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams*. Discuss the 7 pieces of
the Tangram introduced in the story and point out their origins in China.
Preview the idea that a wide variety of animals and figures can be made with the
Tans.

**Whole Group Activity**

Demonstrate how
the 7 Tangram Tans can be flipped, rotated, and rearranged to produce different
designs, referring to *Grandfather Tang’s Story.*

Use overhead, poster, or magnetic Tangram pieces to identify and label all 7 Tangram pieces. Briefly discuss the fact that some of the pieces are the same size (congruent) and some are the same shape but not the same size (similar).

**Pair Activity**

Pair students with their math partners and distribute Tangram kits and a template with the outline of a design that the students will make. Students work in pairs to use the Tans to complete the design. Students should be encouraged to use the precise math vocabulary and language structures noted above. Teacher will circulate providing hints as needed.

**Whole Group Activity**

Meet back as a whole class to have students share their experiences in creating their designs, review the names of the seven Tans, review the concepts of similar and congruent, and set the stage for the subsequent lessons which will focus on more complex designs.

Observe students as they work in pairs to complete their designs. Are they able to work together using precise mathematical language?

Examine finished sets for accuracy. Circulate while students work on shapes, paying close attention to the ability of individual students to flip, slide, and rotate pieces to make shapes. When they are stuck, can they follow peer instructions? Do students give each other instructions using precise mathematical language? Do students work together using the appropriate content and functional language structures to guide their interactions and complete their activity?

The unit on Tangrams can be the basis for future activities in math, art, and writing. Students can write a story similar to Grandfather Tang’s Story that uses Tangram designs as illustrations or use Tangram figures to complete mathematical problems, such as finding the area of a square or other geometrical shape. Students can work on Tangram puzzles during center time, recreating designs from books or creating their own designs and recording them on paper.