Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 239–242 | Cite as

Using tangrams to teach geometry to young children

  • Gerry Bohning
  • Jody Kosack Althouse


Unlike a jigsaw puzzle where a piece must fit in only one way to complete a picture, the seven pieces of a geometric tangram can be arranged in many different ways to make figures of birds, animals, people, and objects. This article presents a Tangram Teaching Guide to provide a five-step developmental sequence for teaching tangramming to young children. Teaching resources are included, and a checklist provides a summary outline of the teaching sequence. Tangram experiences help children develop positive attitudes toward geometry, further their shape identification and classification skills, and foster and understanding of basic geometric concepts and relationships.

Key Words

early childhood tangrams geometry mathematics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cuisenaire. (1991).Learning with tangrams. New York: Cuisenaire [Easy-to-follow guide; includes directions for folding and cutting a tangram].Google Scholar
  2. Ernst, L., & Ernst, L. (1990).The tangram magician. New York: Abrams. [Tangram pieces are used for story illustrations].Google Scholar
  3. Ford, B. (1990).The master revealed: A journey with tangrams. Vallejo, CA: Tandora's Box. [A resource of 475 tangram figures].Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, S. (1977).Fun with tangram kit. New York: Dover. [A preschool teacher's tangram guide].Google Scholar
  5. Tompert, A. (1990).Grandfather Tang's story: A tale told with tangrams. New York: Crown. [Grandfather Tang arranges tangram animals and figures to tell a story].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerry Bohning
    • 1
  • Jody Kosack Althouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Adrian Dominican School of EducationBarry UniversityMiami

Personalised recommendations