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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.


plastic one inch pentominoes in bucket

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.

Want each student to have their own set of pentominoes? I also offer a set of free printable one-inch pentominoes pieces which can be laminated or printed on cardstock for durability.

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 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.

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!

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.

Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle (PDF) (1359 downloads)

Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (586 downloads)

Puzzle Solutions

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

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