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Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle

This jack-o’-lantern made from pentominoes is the perfect halloween puzzle for math class. In this math activity, students must work to arrange a standard set of twelve pentominoes to form a jack-o’-lantern


This pentominoes puzzle is the perfect antidote for the fact that carving pumpkins is just too messy of an activity for math class.

Pentominoes Jack-o'-lantern Halloween Puzzle

I printed the jack-o-lantern template on 11 x 17 cardstock so that my plastic pentominoes fit exactly over the square grid. The class set of pentominoes that I have in my classroom are made up of 1 inch squares.

If you choose to print the pattern on smaller paper, students will just have to look at the template and build the jack-o-lantern shape on their desk using their pentominoes. That will make solving the puzzle a bit more difficult, but it should still be solvable.

Pentominoes Jack-o'-lantern Halloween Puzzle

I posted this halloween pentominoes puzzle on my dry erase board with an orange set of plastic pentominoes in a magnetic pocket.

Pentominoes Jack-o'-lantern Halloween Puzzle

I love these magnetic pockets from Charles Leonard (available from Amazon) because students can easily grab the entire pocket of pentominoes and the puzzle and take it back to their desk to solve the puzzle.

Pentominoes Jack-o'-lantern Halloween Puzzle

This keeps me from having to pass out pentominoes or from students dropping pieces on their way to their desks.

Pentominoes Jack-o'-lantern Halloween Puzzle

If you haven’t invested in a set of plastic pentominoes for your classroom yet, I highly recommend them! But, I also have a downloadable file for a set of printable 1 inch pentominoes that you can use until you get a plastic set.

The only problem with these paper pentominoes is that students often don’t realize that you are able to flip over the pieces since they only have the outline on one side of the paper.

Puzzle Source

This jack-o-lantern puzzle is the creation of Eric Harshbarger. It is featured on the cover of his Pentomino Puzzles book. I look forward to adding this book to my collection of puzzle books once I am able to run across a reasonably priced copy!

More Halloween Puzzles


Monday 14th of November 2022

So I bought the set of pentamino pieces. It was a 6 pack and I assumed that ALL the sets were the same but the students found out they are different! So how do you know what pieces would go with which puzzle??? Thanks!


Monday 31st of October 2022

Any hints on the Jack-o-Lantern Pentominoes puzzle? (much time spent on it and need help). We are successful if we repeat a '5 tile'.


Sunday 30th of October 2022

Thank you so much for the Halloween puzzles. Can you send a solution for the jack o lantern pentominoes? I plan to use it with my 4th grade and have not solved it yet! Thanks! Laura