This Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle combines two favorite math activities into one. This printable Halloween puzzle will have students both practicing plotting ordered pairs on the coordinate plane and solving a fun tangram puzzle using the resulting outline from the plotted ordered pairs.
Last year, I shared a bat tangram puzzle which many of you used with your students in October for Halloween. A few weeks after sharing that puzzle, I had the idea that it would be fun to have students plot a set of ordered pairs to create the outline of the tangram shape.
I made a note of the idea on Google Keep, and I didn’t think about it again until last week. A blog reader sent me an Instagram message asking if I had any Halloween specific math puzzles. I decided it was time to make this idea come to life!
How to Complete the Activity
Students begin the activity by connecting the dots formed by the provided list of ordered pairs.
As students connect the ordered pairs, the outline of a bat will begin to be formed.
Once students complete the coordinate graphing part of the activity, they can either color in the resulting picture or jump straight to creating the design using tangrams.
I decided to color in my bat for this example, but I’m not sure if it was really necessary or not.
Tangram Puzzle Details
Now that my bat is colored in and the mystery shape has been discovered, it’s time to pull out the tangrams! A class set of tangrams was one of the best purchases I made for my classroom during my first couple of years of teaching. There are so many activities you can use them for!
Here’s my finished tangram puzzle.
Printing and Prepping the Activity
In order to make sure your tangrams fit the coordinate plane exactly, there are several things that you will need to check. The large triangle in my tangrams (manufactured by Learning Resources) is exactly four inches across on its longest side.
If your tangrams are a smaller size, you can either scale the document to print at the correct size or you can just have students build with the tangrams on their desk instead of laying them on top of the coordinate plane template.
For example, if your largest tangram piece measures 3″ across, you would print the PDF file at 75% scale. If your largest tangram piece measures 3.5″ across, you would print the PDF file at 87.5% scale.
It is also essential that you select “Actual Size” when printing the PDF file. If your print settings are set to “Fit,” then the file will print at a slightly smaller size and the tangram pieces will be too large.
Free Download of Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle
Remember – make sure you choose “Actual Size” when printing instead of “Fit.”Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle (PDF) (1470 downloads )
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 email@example.com with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.