Tangram Turkey

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Students will use their spatial sense to create turkeys with tangrams.

Big Idea

Kindergartners love using manipulatives; especially tangrams. In this Thanksgiving lesson, children put their building skills to use.


10 minutes

To begin this lesson, we gather on the carpet for a story. I have chosen to read The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed. This book counts up to 12, and has the most amazing illustrations! Introducing this lesson with a counting picture book is a great way to get my students hooked, and prepared to work.


10 minutes

After our picture book, I gather students around the whiteboard where today's assignment is displayed. This task requires students to re-create a turkey using tangrams. I also added an additional piece where students color the turkey. The reasoning for this is addressed in my reflection.

I explain to my students that we are going to be putting together a turkey puzzle with shapes that are called tangrams. Kindergartners love puzzles, so they were excited to hear this! I explain that the tangrams need to match the pieces on the turkey, and place several pieces down as I think aloud. I then purposely put a wrong tangram down to see if my students will catch the mistake. Of course they were all quick to tell me I was wrong, and couldn't put that tangram there. At this point, I believe students are confident enough to get started.

Independent Work

15 minutes

Students are off to build their own tangram turkey! I put piles of tangrams in the center of each table for students to share. My students loved re-creating the turkey with their tangrams. I moved around the room to assist if necessary, but honestly the students were busy and successful in their building! It was great to see students helping one another. I have included some pictures of us working, and a video of a student showing the finished product.