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Using tangrams to teach geometry to young children


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.

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Bohning, G., Althouse, J.K. Using tangrams to teach geometry to young children. Early Childhood Educ J 24, 239–242 (1997).

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Key Words

  • early childhood
  • tangrams
  • geometry
  • mathematics