Missing Puzzle Pieces

Primary (Age 6 – 9)

Curriculum Goal

Primary: Geometry and Spatial Sense

  • Sort and identify two-dimensional shapes by comparing number of sides, side lengths, angles, and number of lines of symmetry.


  • The teacher shows a series of images at the front of the class. Students must clearly communicate which piece(s) completes the puzzle.
  • This lesson can also be easily adapted to an online environment.
    • Teachers may choose to share the slides with their students or not.  
    • Google Slides file has prompts in the notes section for teachers. Educators may wish to delete these before sharing with students.



  • Present students with a puzzle problem from the Appendix.
    • See individual slides for specific instructions.
  • Ask students to think about how they would communicate which piece(s) complete the puzzle.
  • If possible, have the students take turns sharing how they know the solution of the puzzle to classmate.
  • As the challenges become increasingly difficult, facilitate discussion around the solution.
  • Elicit reasoning as to why some pieces could not be possible solutions.
  • Move on to the next problem when you feel the students are ready.
  • This challenge does not need to be completed in one day.
  • This challenge is intended to be revisited, allowing students to strengthen their mathematical spatial language over time. 

Look Fors

  • Are children using gestures to visualize the shapes in different orientations?
  • Are children using accurate directional language when discussing the puzzle?

Related Lessons

A possible introductory lesson for students learning the names of shapes.

Students use spatial language to learn about the properties and orientations of shapes.

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