The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Helping local practitioners and state education agencies develop high-quality and balanced programs

About the Center

Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Geometry: Finding Pentominoes
Subject: Math
Grade span: 3 to 5
Duration: 45 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Math Centers
view video Click here to view a Video Example of this type of lesson.


This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement Math Centers. In this activity, students explore and build pentominoes, figures that are made up of five squares and can be arranged to form different geometrical shapes.

Learning Goals:



What to Do:

Teaching Tips:

  • Begin with something students already know. Show them a domino and ask them how many squares are in a domino. Next, add a square to the domino to make a triomino, a three-square shape.
  • Ask students what the domino and triomino have in common. They should be able to see that in each shape, the squares are connected on at least one side.
  • Ask students to use their squares to see how many different shapes they can make with the triomino. Remember that at least one side of a square must line up with the side of another square.
  • As students are working in centers to find all 12 pentominoes, use the guiding questions below to assess students' progress and encourage them to think for themselves.
    1. Can you tell me how you know that this shape is a pentomino?
    2. How do you know that each pentomino you have created is different?
    3. How can you figure out if one of your pentominoes is the same as another?

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.