Sometime ago we taught our students about Two Dimensional (2D) shapes. In order to make the lesson more interesting for the students we decided to give them Tangrams. In case if you don’t know what Tangrams is, it’s a kind of a puzzle, originated from China, consisting of seven pieces that if we combine them together it becomes a square. We asked the students to create various kinds of shapes such as rabbit, man, ship, etc. This is an example of our student’s work.
During the lesson, we found out that the students were having a difficult time to make these shapes. At the start we gave them some examples from last year students’ work before we sent them to work. However after some time we decided to give them more clues because they seemed at lost. They seemed unable to imagine the shapes they were going to make in their head. After a painstaking 2 hours work, the students, at last, were able to produce these works. Later on during our team meeting we discussed this problem. During the meeting we realized the fact that most of our students this year are very good on dealing with numbers and making conclusions but rather weak on art or things that require them to use their imagination. If we apply Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Matrix, it all makes sense. Most of our students are, according to Gardner’s matrix, the Logical/Mathematical type. That’s why they had difficult time doing the Tangram activity because it requires them to use their imagination and children who are Picture/Spatial type won’t have difficult time doing this activity.
So because of this experience we believe that Tangram is a good activity to try if we want to identify which students who are the Logical/Mathematical type and the Spatial/Picture type.