Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Chanukah

Elementary school dreidels.
The Jewish holiday Chanukah, starts this evening, and at school, as an exercise in woodworking and multi-culturalism, we made dreidels, grades 1-9. I had planned the project and then just this morning realized how appropriate the timing was.

For the youngest ones, none of whom had played the dreidel game before, I did the turning for each on the lathe. They formed the dowel with the dowel maker, and wrote the names on each side. Of course they wanted to color and personalize each one. Then we played the game and it did not take long to catch on. As we played, each used his or her own dreidel.

Dreidel made by Oakley.
For those unfamiliar with dreidels, you might confuse one with a top. But a successful top spins for a long time, and the dreidel being used in a game would bore you if it spun for too long. So a top and a dreidel are not the same thing and should not be confused. Also, a dreidel has 4 sides, each marked with a symbol for a Yiddish word. Not having a stamp for those symbols, we simply marked the first letter of each word, Nun, Gimel, Hay, and Shin.

My older students did their own turning at the lathe. All the students were pleased with their work. Some Clear Spring School students will play dreidel in their homes tonight, just as Jewish boys and girls will do with their families on the first day of Chanukah, 2014.

Make, fix and create...

Use a lathe and drill chuck to bore the hole for the dowel.

Use a gouge to shape the point.

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