Printable Tangram Pieces

Cut along the dashed lines to create your own set of printable tangram pieces. What shapes can you build using all seven pieces?

printable tangram pieces pdf template.

What are Tangrams?

Tangrams are a dissection puzzle which is believed to originate from imperial China. A set of tangrams consists of seven flat shapes which can be put together to form a square. The seven pieces, commonly called tans, are traditionally formed by cutting a square into five triangles, a square, and a parallelogram. 

square tangram puzzle with mathematical background.

The objective of the puzzle is to rearrange these pieces to create various shapes and figures, using all seven pieces without any overlaps.

The seven different tangram shapes can be assembled to form a wide variety of pictures including geometric shapes, animal shapes, and silhouettes of people. An excellent extension task is to challenge students to create their own individual shapes for other students to solve. 

Printing Your Own Tangrams

Sets of tangrams can be purchased from Amazon or from any teacher supply store in the math manipulatives section. Toward the beginning of my teaching career, I invested in a classroom set of plastic tangrams, and I have used them over and over again for various activities. 

I realize plastic tangram sets might not be an option for everyone, so I created a free printable pdf of tangram pieces. 

printable tangram pieces template in pdf format.

The printable tangram pieces are designed to print on letter-sized paper. If you plan on using them for an extended period of time, I highly suggest printing the tangram template on heavy card stock or laminating the paper for extra durability. 


drawing of laminator machine with text "laminating recommendations"

A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.

I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.

I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!

I laminate the pages containing the tangram squares, cut out the squares, and finally cut out the individual pieces. I have had no problem cutting paper after it has been laminated, but your results may vary. 

What can I do with these Tangram Pieces? 

The general goal of a tangram puzzle is to take the seven tangram pieces and form them into different shapes. Often, challenges involve arranging the tangram puzzle pieces to form shapes such as animals or people. 

Binder with Tangram Puzzles.

If you are looking for ideas of what shapes can be created, I offer a set of 97 printable tangram puzzles to get you started on your tangram solving journey. These puzzles can be printed in a binder or as a set of tangram challenge cards to work through. Tangrams make the perfect problem solving puzzle for the elementary, middle school, or high school classroom. 

tangram puzzle binder with stingray puzzle inside.

As students work through the different puzzles, they will improve their spatial awareness as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

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