Sunday, February 10, 2008

Working With Tangrams...

Mrs. Blakely read the book Grandfather Tang's Story, by Ann Tompert. It was an interesting story using Tangrams. In the book, Grandfather Tang tells his grandaughter a story using tangrams to describe the different characters. In the story, the foxes have magical powers and can tranform into different animals. We learned that a tangram puzzle set has seven pieces: two large triangles, two small triangles, one medium triangle, a square and a parallelogram. (We love saying parallelogram!) ;-) The rule for working with the pieces is you must use all seven pieces to make your puzzle design. Our first challenge was to use all seven pieces to make a square. Completing this task requires we tap into a different part of our brain for problem- solving. It was a challenge, but no one gave up! With a few hints, Spencer and Alyssa were the first to complete the square. The kids who could complete the square with ease, got to help the other children. Their challenge was to help their friends without touching the pieces....they could only use words. That was not as easy as it sounds, finding just the right way to describe how to move the pieces was quite the challenge as well. After working with the tangrams for several days, nearly everyone could make the square like a pro! We made our version of the animals from the story, then, using the overhead projector, we got to see how Grandfather Tang made the animals. Then we copied his way. It was fun. Later we made lots of different things using our tangram puzzles. Here are some pictures from our first day using the tangrams.
After watching our video, you can try working with tangrams online.

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