Skip to main content

FREE: Twelve Shevatim / Tribes / שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Printable Dodecahedron

Update:  I made up a game to go along with this dodecahedron!  More details here.

DSC01798A bit late for Vayeitzei, but since we’ll keep reading about the adventures of the twelve shevatim over the next few weeks, I figured something like this could come in handy for dice games, just tossing around… or whatever.

What’s a dodecahedron?  It’s basically a 12-sided “die” (singular of dice).  (if you ever played D&D, you’ll know it as a D12!)

I was inspired by this “twelve days of Xmas” dodecahedron project for sale at CurrClick. As soon as I saw it, I wondered, “what do WE learn about that comes in 12s???”  Since we’ve just finished learning Parshas Vayeitzei, which includes the birth of 11 out of the 12 shevatim (tribes), it didn’t take long to figure out.  (the fact that it took any time at all is kind of puzzling!)

Hebrew grammar note:  the word for “tribe” in the singular = שֵׁבֶט = shevet; in the plural = שְׁבָטִים = shevatim.  HOWEVER, it is often seen as שִׁבְטֵי = shivtei when it modifies another noun, most commonly in the phrase שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – the tribes of Israel.  Nobody ever taught me that it was the same word, with and without the ם / mem on the end, so I hope I am saving somebody some degree of angst over this “advanced” form of the word.

dodecahedron shevatimAnyway – back to our dodecahedron:

The paper pattern looks complicated, but don’t be scared!  That said, I definitely recommend a “fast acting” white glue, like Aleene’s Fast Grab, for this and any other craft you don’t want to stand around pinching dry for hours on end.

I found it was easiest to do all the cutting first, then do all the folding (dashed lines), then glue the first 6 tribes together, then glue each of the next tribes onto the “bottom” one at a time.  Save Yosef (Joseph) for last – he has no tabs, but just gets glued securely onto the other shevatim alongside.


  DSC01796 DSC01797

This project was based on the regular “calendar dodecahedron” shape found on this page – great resource for generating a custom-printable year-long calendar!

p.s. While you assemble it, or toss it around, you can sing our “shevatim song” (to the tune formerly known as “10 little Indians”):

    • One little, two little, three little, (Indians)
      • “Re-OO-vayn, shi-MIN, lay-VEE, ye-HOO-da,
    • four little, five little, six little, (Indians)
      • yee-SA-char, ze-VOO-loon, dan, naf-TA-lee,
    • seven little, eight little, nine little, (Indians)
      • “gad, a-SHAYR, yo-SAYF, bin-YA-min –
    • ten little (Indian) boys!
      • these are the twelve she-VA-teem!” OR
      • these are the shivtei Yisrael!” OR
      • these are the Tribes of Iz-RA-ayl!” (if you don’t want to use any Hebrew)

For the record, my children have heard this song in a million contexts – we use the same tune for the 12 months of the Jewish year – but have never, ever, EVER heard it about any kind of racial group, from India other otherwise.

  • To print this and dozens of other Limudei Kodesh (Jewish Studies) activities including weekly parsha copywork and holiday resources, click here.
  • For General Studies printables – including science, art and music resources in Hebrew and English, Ambleside, composer and artist resources, click here.


Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

It's Heart Month: 3 days left to save lives!

Dear Friends & Family: Hi, everybody! Sorry I can’t stop by in person... you're a bit out of my area.  :-) We’re out walking up and down on our street on this beautiful afternoon to raise money for Heart & Stroke.  This cause is important to me (I won't say it's close to my heart , because that would be tacky!).  I hope you'll join me by donating online. Growing up, I watched as every single one of my grandparents' lives were shortened by heart disease and strokes, and my father had a defibrillator that saved his life on more than one occasion.  Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 Canadians and are the #1 killer of women. Please click this link to be redirected to my main page at the Heart & Stroke website: Thus ends my personal appeal.  Official information follows.  :-))) ----- Heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women - taking more women's lives than all forms of cancer combined. But no one is immune. Th