This winter-themed mystery tangram puzzle combines two favorite math activities into one. This printable puzzle requires students to graph points on the coordinate plane in order to create a winter image which they can recreate using a standard set of 7 tangrams.
When I shared my Christmas Mystery Tangram Puzzle, I had several teachers reach out to me and ask if I could make a winter-themed version that wasn’t tied to a specific holiday.
I’m already brainstorming shapes that I can turn into mystery tangram puzzles for other holidays. These would be in addition to my Halloween Mystery Tangram Puzzle, Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle, and Christmas Mystery Tangram Puzzle.
Students begin the activity by connecting the dots formed by the provided list of ordered pairs.
I highly suggest having students use a ruler when connecting the points on the coordinate plane!
As students connect the ordered pairs, the outline of a snowman will begin to be formed.
Once students complete the coordinate graphing part of the activity, they can either color in the resulting snowman picture or jump straight to creating the design using tangrams. I didn’t color in the picture this time, but I have done some coloring on my previous mystery tangram puzzles.
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!
I sized the coordinate plane so that my plastic tangrams are the exact same size as the outline created by the ordered pairs.
The first step to making sure that your sizing is 100% accurate is to make sure you print the PDF of the Christmas 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.
What Tangrams Do I Need?
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.
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.
Free Download of Winter Mystery Tangram Puzzle
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 email@example.com with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.