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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fun with Tangram

I always love to go back and re-read old favorites cause there is always something new to learn. This time I stumbled upon "Tangram" in a book that I had read a million times already (needless to say missing it till now). Looking at the images brought back memories of the time when we were little and got it as a gift (don't think I was really interested then...LoLs). Only now that I am a mom I get to see the hidden wisdom in it. Plus 6 years of motherhood has taught me that anything introduced properly, positively and at the right time gets it due attention. Developing an interest comes with Motivation. Hence I decided to give it a try

So what is a Tangram?  It is an ancient Chinese puzzle, A square cut into 7 pieces with 3 basic geometric shapes. There are two large, one medium and two small triangles, one square and one parallelogram. only the parallelogram can be used in two different directions, by flipping over. These can be rearranged to form an end less number of shapes all with the same covered area as the original square.
Initially 2 or more pieces can be used to make other shapes, like the two big triangles can be joined together to make a square as well as a parallelogram! Though the basic rule is to use all seven pieces without overlapping to get hundreds of images in silhouettes.

 Here are the first few attempts by M

Make a Tangram in 6 easy steps:

1.Draw a 10x10 inch square on a mount board ( a heavy chart paper can also be used).
2.Mark the centers lightly ( red lines).
3.Draw a diagonal BD.
4.Draw another small diagonal line starting from the center of BC till the center of CD
5.Starting from point A draw a  line towards point C till it touches the small diagonal. from this point make a horizontal line till it touches BD
6.Now starting at the mid of BC draw the last small diagonal line towards the middle of AB, till the point where it cuts diagonal BD.

I have painted mine in a single color to avoid distraction but the pieces can be colored any way you like.
To rearrange the puzzle back into the square was a tough enough job for me and after a few tries I started reflecting back on the method and sequence of cutting. So to encourage her and keep her motivated I drew an extra one on a white sheet of paper.and she got the hang of it in no time. Remember the trust that "I can do it" is the best motivation ;)

Critical and Analytical Thinking
Independent work
New words to learn: Tangram, parallelogram,silhouette


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