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Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle

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?

penguin pentominoes puzzle

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!

Pentominoes Penguin Puzzle (Partially Solved)

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.

Set of 3 Different Penguin Pentominoes Puzzles on Dry Erase Board

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 three copies of the 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 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.

Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle with Set of Red Pentominoes

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.

Partially Solved Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle

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.

Student Attempt at Solving Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle

If you are enjoying these pentominoes puzzles, be sure to check out my 13 Free Printable Pentominoes Puzzles and the Star Pentominoes Puzzle.

Puzzle Solutions

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 with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.


Thursday 17th of November 2022

Hi, do you print the pentomino pieces on 11 by 17 paper as well or regular paper?