Grandfather Tang’s Story: Adventures With Tangrams (Grade 2) I. Educational Objectives: 1. Each student will identify the geometric shapes found in tangrams (1 square, 1 parallelogram, 1 medium triangle, 2 small triangles and 2 large triangles) and be able to arrange the shapes to complete a tangram puzzle. 2. Each student will develop spatial relationship skills and problem-solving strategies by manipulating the tangram elements to form specific tangram pictures, both given and student designed. New Jersey Core Content Standards: 4.2 Geometry and Measurement A. Geometric Properties 4.2.4 Recognize, describe, extend, and create designs and patterns with geometric objects of different shapes and colors B. Transforming Shapes 4.2.1 Use simple shapes to make designs, patterns, and pictures 4.2.2 Combine and subdivide simple shapes to make other shapes 4.5 Mathematical Processes A. Problem Solving 4.2.5 Learn mathematics through problem solving, inquiry, and discovery F. Technology 4.2.5 Use computer software to make and verify conjectures about geometric shapes II. Anticipatory Set: 1. Ask the students to raise their hands if they ate cereal for breakfast today. Then ask if anyone ate. Then, say that you had Cocoa Rice Krispies, and you saw something cool on the box so you thought you would share it with them. 2. Sow the back of the box, which has tangrams on it. Ask if anyone knows what tangrams are. (Student responses.) Explain that tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzles that are often used to tell stories. 3. Tell students that today we are going to hear a story from China that uses tangrams. Tell them that first we have to review the names of the geometric shapes needed for the story and today’s activity. Students must listen to the story carefully because they will be holding poster cards representing the animals in the story. As they recognize their tangram animal, they will hang it in the front of the room. After the story, they will each get their own set of tangram pieces to make pictures called “tans.” III. Instructional Materials and Resources (Traditional): Grandfather Tang’s Story (Ann Trompert) Three Pigs, One Wolf, and Seven Magical Shapes (Marilyn Burns) Teacher-made tan posters representing animals from Grandfather story Individual tangram sets (one per student) Plastic tangram templates (one per student) Art supplies (crayons, markers, pencils, paper, etc.) Multicultural Math Lab (Learning Resources, Inc.) manipulative math kit Instructional Materials and Resources (Technology): Computers with Internet access Smartboard http://pbskids.org/sagwa/games/tangrams/ (This website is an interactive tangram puzzle activity. Students can click on a geometric shape and drag it into the puzzle. When the puzzle is correct the shape dances and congratulates the student. Pieces can be flipped, turned, and rotated in this game.) Additional websites for tangrams can be investigated by students at www.pbs.org IV. Procedure: 1. (Anticipatory Set; see above) 2. Distribute teacher-made tan posters among students; ask students to look at their poster as well as the others around them to become familiar with the pictures. Students should try and figure out what each picture is. Some students may need help at first to recognize the patterns made by the geometric shapes. 3. Read Grandfather Tang’s Story and have children bring their poster to the front of the room as they recognize their tan picture. (There may be some confusion if children are holding their pictures upside down; some students may find the patterns more difficult to decode than others.) 4. When the story is completed, distribute a tangram puzzle to each student and have them check to make sure their puzzle has the correct pieces. (A few may be intentionally mixed up as a trick to increase the learning.) 5. When puzzles are all complete, ask students to go through their copy of the book and try to make each of the animals from the story with their tangram set. Encourage cooperative learning. 6. Circulate and assist students when needed. Closure: 1. With a few minutes remaining, have a brief class discussion summarizing the lesson. Ask students to share what they learned from the lesson, if they think they can use their knowledge of tangrams in the future, what they did well and what they can do better, etc. Answer any remaining questions. Extension Activities: 1. Students may work individually or in groups to make additional tangram animals and objects using the book Three Pigs, One Wolf, and Seven Magic Shapes. 2. Students may retell one of the stories from the lesson using their tangram shapes with a partner or small group. 3. Have students use tangram templates to draw tans; tans may be used in original stories that he student create. V. 4. Provide students with blackened tans and ask students to figure out the patterns. (Provide various levels of difficulty.) Sources: Copies of the Cocoa Rice Krispies box and the Multicultural Math Lab by Learning Resources, Inc. VI. Assessment/Evaluation: 1. Teacher observation of students working to duplicate tangrams in the story, determining which students had initial difficulty and check for improvement as the activity progressed. 2. Completed student designed tangrams made with the puzzles and/or drawn with the template will be used to indicate mastery of spatial relationships and transformations. Additional projects described above are also good indicators of mastery of objectives.
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