Thursday, September 14, 2017


In wood shop at the Clear Spring School yesterday, as some students were finishing their pen sets and whittling pens, I invited others to make "super-heroes." One first grade girl announced, "I want to make a cat." Another one suggested, "It could be cat woman!" And so they began making super hero cats as shown in the photo. They used the little scraps that resulted from forming the neck to make ears. The photo also shows one left unfinished, and another with moveable arms.

Perhaps you can understand why children love wood shop. What they learn will not be effectively measured in standardized testing, but in real life instead. The children asked, "May I take this home?" And of course they can, and they did.

To make a super hero (or cat) of your own, begin with a piece of 3/4 in. white pine 2 in. wide by 6 in. long. Use a band saw or straight cutting hand saw to begin forming the legs. Then have the child make a coping saw cut to remove the scrap of wood from between the legs.

A coping saw is used to make cuts forming the neck. The top of the head can be sawn to shape or left flat for the attachment of ears, which are glued in place. The super hero stock must be mounted securely in the vise for all cuts. We use a drill press to drill holes for the arms to fit. In drilling, I hold the stock securely in place as the student turns on the drill and turns the handle to form the holes on either side. 1/4 in. dowels are glued in place to form the arms.

Today I will ship boxes to the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock.

Make, fix, create, and help others learn lifewise.

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