STEM: Doodle-Tangrams (Puzzler Investigation)

Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work in pairs using the 3Doodler to doodle a seven piece set of mathematical tangrams. Students will solve tangram puzzles and then attempt to design their own tangram puzzle using all seven shapes, i.e., 2 large triangles, 2 small triangles, 1 right triangle, 1 square, and 1 rhombus.

Note: Any links outside of are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Lesson Plan



Before the session, doodle your own set of tangrams to introduce to students. Review each shape.

Introduce the concept of puzzle solving online with this tangrams web link.

You can set the level from easy to hard. Play with a few puzzles, allowing students to join you at the whiteboard to solve. Note how the pieces can be rotated.

Bookmark this tangrams web link on students' computers.

Step 2

Share the goal: During this session, students will doodle their own set of tangrams with a partner and then solve puzzles from the the tangrams web link online, and again with their doodled-tangrams.

Step 3

Project your tablet or computer screen on the board for students to view the Doodle-Tangram Stencils.

Step 4

Instruct students to outline each tangram piece with their 3Doodler first before filling it. Note the importance of ensuring that the outline is securely fastened to the paper so that the shape does not tug and get distorted when filled.

Step 5

Note that students should doodle each tangram a solid color. The seven tangrams may be different colors.

Step 6

Project the tangrams web page on the board. Demonstrate how to solve the puzzles online, and then with their doodled tangrams on their desk.

*Optional: Use the Doodle-Tangram Puzzle Worksheet. These are the same puzzles from the website to help guide the students.

Step 7

Demonstrate: Place students around a table to watch as you arrange your doodle-tangrams to recreate the first online puzzle, the triangle. Note how one partner will solve first online and then the other partner will solve on their desktop using the doodled tangrams. Partners may switch roles.

Step 8

Divide students into pairs, then hand out the 3Doodlers and Doodle-Tangram Stencils.

Step 9

After doodling, instruct students to take an informal inventory of all of their doodled tangrams. They should have seven.

Step 10

Instruct students to go to the tangrams web page.

Step 11

Circle to assist and assess as students work.

Wrap Up

Demonstrate how to segment off the larger sections in the two larger triangles to make them easier to fill with extruded 3Doodler filament. Share pictures of the students' tangrams on Twitter. #3DoodlerEDU @3Doodler


The teacher will assess the students by evaluating their tangram-puzzle solutions and original tangram puzzles.

Possible Extensions

The teacher assembles students' tangram puzzles into a stop-motion video and adds music. The students create various original puzzles and create their own stop-motion videos on iMovie. Instruct students to arrange their puzzle pieces in an original shape that looks like an object, person or animal on a piece of paper. Trace the outline of their tangram arrangement. Then swap with another partner pair to solve.


  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • geometry - a branch of mathematics that deals with the measurement, properties, and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids; broadly : the study of properties of given elements that remain invariant under specified transformations.

  • math - the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • rhombus - a parallelogram with four equal sides and sometimes one with no right angles.

  • rotation - the action of rotating around an axis or center.

  • shapes - the quality of a distinct object or body in having an external surface or outline of specific form or figure.

  • slide - a transformation that slides a figure a given distance in a given direction. A slide is also called a translation.

  • square - a two-dimensional shape with four sides of equal length and four right angles.

  • STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, considered as a group of academic or career fields.

  • tangram - a Chinese geometric puzzle consisting of a square cut into seven pieces that can be arranged to make various other shapes.

  • triangle - a polygon having three sides.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

In This Lesson

Students will discuss how to solve each tangram puzzle with their partner and the class as a whole.

Common Core

Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

In This Lesson

Students will build on the talk of others during the whole group and partner work throughout this project.

Next Gen Science
K-2-ETS1-2 Engineering Design

Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem

In This Lesson

Students will doodle seven tangram puzzle pieces to solve an assortment of tangram puzzles.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the puzzle solving process into a multistage process of solving online puzzles, doodling tangram pieces and recreating solutions with them.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to create tangram puzzle pieces. Students will solve tangram puzzles online and in the real world with doodled tangrams.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will create an original tangram puzzle for other partners to solve, using doodled tangram pieces.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will work a partner and peers throughout doodling, problem solving and creation process.

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