Geometric Puzzles


Henri Picciotto

My first projects as a curriculum developer came out of my interest in recreational math, especially geometric puzzles. This turned out to have a big impact, directly or indirectly, on almost all my subsequent work. Here are some links.

On this site


Geometric Puzzles in the Classroom is my main article on this topic.

Puzzles in Math Education provides a philosophical framework.

In Geometric Puzzles Unit, I suggest a sensible path through some of the below.

Web pages, applets, and PDFs
Virtual Pentominoes
Pentomino Labs
Three-Pentomino Puzzles
Tiling Rectangles with Pentominoes
Simultaneous Pentomino Rectangles
One-inch graph paper (useful for pentomino puzzles)
Pythagorean Puzzle
Tearing tangrams
Virtual Tangrams
Supertangram Labs
Map Coloring
Symmetry Handouts (mirrors, scissors, pentominoes, pattern blocks)
A puzzle approach to Geometric Construction
Cutting Out Hearts, by Katherine Paur
Using the Geoboard links to many puzzles
Geometric puzzle books
Polyomino Lessons
Pentomino Books
Supertangram books
Geometry Labs is not exactly a puzzle book, but it includes many puzzles.
Laser cutter file
If you have access to a laser cutter, you can make your own pentominoes. (The file was created by Eben LaPier.) The advantage of laser-cut pentominoes over the commercially available ones is that the pieces are not subdivided into squares. Thus, when you've solved a puzzle, you can see what you did. With the commercially available pentominoes, all you see is in a solved puzzle is its subdivision into squares, which is useless.

Not free

Supertangrams ($4/set, plus shipping and handling, discounts for bulk orders — e-mail me)



A recording of an online workshop on tangrams and pentominoes.

Pentomino Activities, Lessons and Puzzles a classic from the 1980's, (going out of print, but possibly still available from, item # 0884883744).

Working with Pentominoes (from — book and ebook which can be projected and includes onscreen manipulable pentominoes.

Geometry Labs Drawing Template (from Useful for rep-tile explorations, tiling, and more.

Zome Geometry (from Zometool), which I co-authored with George Hart, is not exactly a puzzle book, but it includes many puzzles.