The ancient Chinese art of tangram puzzles is a popular mathematical problem solving activity, finely tuned to bring out the best in pupils.
The tangram puzzle consists of 7 geometric pieces which are normally boxed in the shape of a square. The pieces, called 'tans', are used to create different patterns including animals, people, numbers, geometric shapes and many more.
For example, the tangram animals group calls for the tans to be arranged into the silhouettes of cats, rabbits, birds . . .
The tangram could almost be described as a reverse jigsaw puzzle, as the student begins with a complete set of pieces assembled together in a flat organisation. The idea is to them dissemble the
pieces and rearrange them in such a way as to create the desired image.
Ideal as a means of testing psychological and creative temperaments, tangram patterns can hold a wealth of opportunities for original and practical learning.