I was super excited today to share a new penguin pentominoes puzzle with my students as this week’s puzzle of the week. Can you arrange a set of twelve pentominoes to form the shape of a penguin?
Several students attempted to solve this penguin puzzle over the course of the day, but so far none of my students have been successful. I guess this is a tricky one!
I typically just post my puzzles of the week on the dry erase board and let students attempt to solve them on their own. I don’t direct their attention to the puzzles or require students to participate.
Some students love the puzzles. Others ignore them. I find that when one student in a class gets interested in a puzzle that their excitement is contagious.
I printed this penguin puzzle on 11 x 17 paper since the 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 penguin outline.
If you don’t have a class set of plastic pentominoes, I do have a printable version of 1-inch pentominoes available to download at the end of this post.
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.
I ran across this penguin 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.
There were several other animal outlines, but they were too large to fit on my 11 x 17 cardstock. I need to come up with a way to accommodate larger sized puzzles.
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.
I decided the penguin puzzle would make a perfect winter-themed pentominoes puzzle. My students were growing tired of the 13 Free Printable Pentominoes Puzzles I shared earlier, so it was time to try something new.
You might have noticed that I used the same Pentominoes Challenges Poster I created to hang above the puzzles since these are just a different sort of pentominoes challenge.
I intentionally do not share solutions to the puzzles I feature on my website because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are not 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.