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Elephant Pentominoes Puzzle

The animal-shaped pentominoes puzzles I have been putting out on a weekly basis have been a huge hit with my students. This elephant pentominoes puzzle was no exception!

Can you arrange a set of twelve pentominoes to form the shape of an elephant?

Previously, my students have tackled the Terrier Pentominoes Puzzle, the Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle, and a set of 13 different printable pentominoes challenges.

I ran across this elephant shaped pentominoes puzzle in Jon Millington’s Pentominoes: Puzzle shapes to make you think which was published by Tarquin in 1987. It was listed as part of a Pentazoo puzzle challenge.

elephant pentominoes puzzle on student desk.

I was able to check out a copy of this book virtually from the Internet Archive’s Free Online Lending Library. You will need to make a free account to access the book.

three copies of elephant pentominoes puzzle hanging on dry erase board.

I printed three copies of the elephant pentominoes puzzle on 11 x 17 cardstock. Often Amazon will list packages of this cardstock as “used.” This usually just means that the outside packaging has been torn. I am often able to pick these packages up for 50% off as a result.

I printed this elephant puzzle on 11 x 17 paper since the plastic pentominoes I have in my classroom are made up of 1-inch squares. I wanted my students to be able to lay the pentominoes pieces directly over the elephant outline.


plastic one inch pentominoes in bucket

Amazon offers several brands of plastic pentominoes which I recommend. Each brand is sold in a tub containing six sets of twelve pentominoes each for a total of 72 pentomino pieces.

Want each student to have their own set of pentominoes? I also offer a set of free printable one-inch pentominoes pieces which can be laminated or printed on cardstock for durability.

If you don’t have a class set of plastic pentominoes, I do have a printable version of 1-inch pentominoes available to download and print. Please be aware that you MUST allow students to turn over the printed pentominoes pieces in order to solve the puzzle! This is less obvious than with the plastic pentominoes pieces.

I placed each set of pentominoes in a magnetic pocket below the puzzle on the dry erase board. I like this method of displaying the puzzles because students are able to easily grab the pocket of pentominoes and take them back to their desks.

elephant pentominoes puzzle hanging above magnetic pocket holding pentominoes.

Free Download of Elephant Pentominoes Puzzle (PDF)


This file is specifically designed to be used with plastic pentominoes composed of one-inch squares. For the pentominoes to fit perfectly on the grid, this file must be printed at 100% Scale or “Actual Size.” If your printer defaults to “Fit” or “Shrink oversized pages,” the pentominoes will not fit properly on the grid which can cause great frustration when trying to solve the puzzle.

If you do not have access to a set of plastic pentominoes, you can also print a set of one inch pentominoes on cardstock.

Pentominoes Elephant Puzzle 11 x 17 (PDF) (2042 downloads)

Pentominoes Elephant Puzzle 11 x 17 (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (527 downloads)

Pentominoes Challenges Poster 11 x 17 (PDF) (2909 downloads)

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.