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Tessellate the Triominoes

Age 5 to 7 Challenge Level:

Tesselate the Triominoes

This shape is called a triomino - it is three squares joined together to make an "L":


Can you cover the grid below with triominoes?
Explain what you did and please send us a picture of your finished grid.
Click on the cross and drag a triomino onto the grid. Then you can use the arrow keys to turn it around.

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What happens when you try fitting the pieces into this grid?
Can you explain why?

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Why do this problem?

In this challenge, the key is visualisation. It is required in two ways: to plan ahead (in other words - if I put this triomino here, will I be able to fit another one in easily?); to turn the triomino in their ''mind's eye'' in order to decide which orientation is needed for a particular gap.

Possible approach

As pupils tackle this problem, they should be encouraged to devise a system for filling the grid without leaving any gaps. This may not come easily to some and you might need to bring their attention to spaces that cannot be filled.

Key questions

How can you fit just two triominoes together without leaving any gaps between them?
Where might be a good place to put the first triomino?

Possible extension

Children might enjoy having a go at the Covering the Camel.

Possible support

A good starting point is to ask children to fit just two triominoes together without leaving a gap between them. This might help some to visualise more easily how the pieces could be fitted into the grid and to explain why some grids might be impossible to fill.