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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!

elephant pentominoes puzzle.

Elephant Pentominoes Puzzle Instructions

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

You can flip or rotate any of the pentominoes pieces, but you may not overlap them.

Puzzle Source

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.

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

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.

Printing and Prepping the Puzzle

11 x 17 Version

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.

8.5 x 11 Version

Coming Soon!

Ideas for Using in Class

I placed each set of pentominoes in a magnetic pocket below the puzzle on the dry erase board.

three copies of elephant pentominoes puzzle hanging on 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.

Looking for more animal shaped pentominoes fun? I have also created a frog pentomino puzzle.

Hint Cards

Also available to download is a set of 4 hint cards that can be used with students who need a bit of assistance with solving the puzzle or seeing if they are on the right path.

hint cards for pentominoes elephant puzzle

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.