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.
Printing and Prepping the Puzzle
I printed the jackolantern 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.
MATH = LOVE RECOMMENDS…
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.
- Learning Resources Rainbow Pentominoes
- Learning Advantage Pentominoes
- Didax Colorful Pentominoes – CURRENTLY THE CHEAPEST!
If you don’t have the ability to print on 11 x 17 cardstock or paper, I have a letter-sized version of the template available to download at the bottom of this post. You will have to trim the pages and glue or tape them together to form the full-size template.
Using the Puzzle in the Classroom
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.
This keeps me from having to pass out pentominoes or from students dropping pieces on their way to their desks.
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.
This puzzle would pair well with the Halloween Triples Word Puzzle.
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!
Pentominoes puzzles which use a full-set of twelve pentominoes can be quite tricky for students to solve without any hints. To help make these puzzles more accessible to students, I have created a set of printable hint cards that can be given to students to give them a bit of a jump-start in their puzzle solving.
These hint cards are uploaded below!
Free Download of Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle
This file is specifically designed to be used with plastic pentominoes composed of one-inch squares. For the pentominoes to fit perfectly on the grid, this file must be printed at 100% Scale or “Actual Size.” If your printer defaults to “Fit” or “Shrink oversized pages,” the pentominoes will not fit properly on the grid which can cause great frustration when trying to solve the puzzle.
If you do not have access to a set of plastic pentominoes, you can also print a set of one inch pentominoes on cardstock.
11 x 17 Print Files
8.5 x 11 Print File
You will have to trim the pages and glue or tape them together with this option.
If you like this puzzle, I suggest checking out my other Halloween math activities!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.
More Halloween Puzzles, Games, & Activities
- Ghost Game
- Picking Pumpkins Game
- Halloween Triples Puzzle
- Pumpkin Jack-o’-lantern Sliceform
- Halloween Math Activities
- Halloween Symbols Puzzle
- Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle
- 9 Pumpkins Puzzle
- Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle
- Bat Tangram Puzzle
- Tombstone Project
More Pentominoes Puzzles
- Goose Pentominoes Puzzle
- Pentomino Calendar Puzzle
- Butterfly Pentominoes Puzzle
- Pentomino Frog Puzzle
- Pentominoes Pi Symbol Puzzle
- Pentominoes Heart Puzzle
- Printable One Inch Pentominoes
- Reindeer Pentominoes Puzzle
- Pentominoes Christmas Tree Puzzle
- Pentominoes Pig Puzzle
- Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle
- Elephant Pentominoes Puzzle
- Terrier Pentominoes Puzzle
- Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle
- 13 Free Printable Pentominoes Puzzle Challenges
- Star Pentominoes Puzzle
- Color Rectangle Puzzle
- Pentasquares Puzzle
- Three Immovable Pentablocks