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Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

This Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle combines two favorite math activities into one. This printable Thanksgiving puzzle will have students both practicing plotting ordered pairs on the coordinate plane and solving a fun tangram puzzle using the resulting outline from the plotted ordered pairs.

Puzzle Inspiration

I was inspired to create this Thanksgiving-themed puzzle after seeing just how many teachers were excited to use my Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle that I shared last month in October.

Eventually, I would like to have an entire series of mystery tangram puzzles for each holiday during the school year. I’m currently working on a Christmas-themed mystery tangram puzzle at the moment.

How the Activity Works

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

Students begin the activity by connecting the dots formed by the provided list of ordered pairs.

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

As students connect the ordered pairs, the outline of a turkey will begin to be formed.

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

Once students complete the coordinate graphing part of the activity, they can either color in the resulting picture or jump straight to creating the design using tangrams. I didn’t feel like coloring in the entire turkey, but I did outline it with a bit of color to make it “pop” off the page a bit.

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

Now that the mystery Thanksgiving shape has been discovered, it’s time to pull out the tangrams! A class set of tangrams was one of the best purchases I made for my classroom during my first couple of years of teaching. There are so many activities you can use them for!

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

I sized the coordinate plane so that my plastic tangrams are the exact same size as the outline created by the ordered pairs.

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

Printing and Preparing the Activity

The first step to making sure that your sizing is 100% accurate is to make sure you print the PDF of the Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle at 100% scale. Do not check the box that says “Fit” or “Shrink Oversized Pages.” This will result in your tangrams not fitting properly on the template.

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

Next, you need to make sure that you have the correct size of plastic tangrams. Like I said earlier, a class set of tangrams was one of my first purchases for my math classroom. I have used them for so many different activities over the years.

tangram triangle next to ruler

The large triangle in my tangrams (manufactured by Learning Resources) is exactly four inches across on its longest side.

If your tangrams are a smaller size, you can either scale the document to print at the correct size or you can just have students build with the tangrams on their desk instead of laying them on top of the coordinate plane template.

For example, if your largest tangram piece measures 3″ across, you would print the PDF file at 75% scale. If your largest tangram piece measures 3.5″ across, you would print the PDF file at 87.5% scale.

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle

Looking for more Thanksgiving-themed math fun? Check out the Triangular Turkey Puzzle!

text of "thanksgiving math activities" above picture of pile of pumpkins


Looking for more free printable Thanksgiving resources? This activity is featured in my collection of Thanksgiving Math Activities and Puzzles. You’ll find 15 more creative ideas for incorporating Thanksgiving into your classroom!

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.