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Star Pentominoes Puzzle

This star pentominoes puzzle is a fun twist on the standard rectangular pentominoes puzzle.

I had my first experience with pentominoes puzzles in second grade. My teacher, Mrs. Green, loved pentominoes. One of the activities we worked on frequently in our free time was the standard rectangular pentominoes puzzle. Mrs. Green had a binder full of solutions and anytime you solved the rectangular pentominoes puzzle, she would pull out her binder to see if we had discovered a new solution that she could add to her binder. If we did, it was a great honor, and we would get a piece of candy to celebrate.

Star Pentominoes Puzzle

This Star Pentominoes Puzzle adds a fun twist to the regular pentominoes challenge of building a 5 x 12 rectangle using pentominoes. In this puzzle, each pentomino must cover exactly one star in the rectangle.

Star Pentominoes Puzzle

I found this star pentominoes puzzle in Totally Tough Brainteasers by L.P. Mochalov. I’m really enjoying the puzzles by this puzzle author, and I have several more puzzles by Mochalov that I will be sharing soon that I have adapted for my classroom. Recently, I shared the Three Squared Puzzle by the same author!

I printed the puzzle on 11 x 17 cardstock. I sized everything to fit pentominoes made of one-inch squares since that is the size of the plastic pentominoes I have in my classroom. If you don’t have a set of plastic pentominoes, I highly recommend adding them to your wishlist! You can buy them in a bucket on Amazon that contains six sets of pentominoes.

You could also 3D print a set of pentominoes if you have access to a 3D printer, but I have never tried that myself.

Star Pentominoes Puzzle

The stars add a fun twist to the puzzle. I really enjoyed trying to figure out what piece I could use in the bottom left hand corner of the puzzle that would only cover one star.

Star Pentominoes Puzzle

I’ve had this puzzle out for several weeks in my classroom, and several students have managed to solve it. One thing that I have really enjoyed about this puzzle is that students tend to work on it in pairs which leads to some awesome conversations to listen in on!

If you don’t have access to a set of plastic pentominoes, I have also created a set of printable pentominoes that are made of one-inch squares. They aren’t quite as satisfying to play with, but they will work just fine.

Star Pentominoes Puzzle

Just make sure you print the puzzle board on 11 x 17 cardstock or paper and the pentominoes pieces on letter-sized paper.

Star Pentominoes Puzzle

Note: This pentominoes puzzle definitely requires some serious logical thinking due to the requirement that each pentomino cover a single square. If you are working with younger students or are just looking for puzzles which are easier to solve, I recommend checking out my post with free printable pentominoes puzzle challenges instead.

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

Hailey

Friday 21st of January 2022

I’m using the pentominoes from the PDF you linked above. Can you flip the pieces to the other side if you want (the side without the black outline)? Thank you!

Sarah Carter

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

The pieces can be flipped over!

Rosario Mollo

Monday 8th of November 2021

These are great! There is a game called katamino that my students love to play that is similar to this. It really gets the brain going and it great to get objects in their hands!

Sarah Carter

Monday 8th of November 2021

I love Katamino!