Ark or Ark?

Scripture: I Samuel 4-7

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn the significance of the ark in the Old Testament.
  • Students will learn that homographs are words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings.
  • Students will learn different English homographs.  

Guiding Questions:What are English homographs and how do we use them?

Materials: enough index cards or pieces of paper for each student to have one (each will have a pre-written homophone on it)

Procedure: Explain to students the significance of the Ark of the Covenant and review why it was such a powerful item for the Israelites. It represented God’s presence among them and contained holy items that reminded the Israelites of their history. God showed his power by bringing suffering to the people who had taken it.

Ask them if they have heard of the word “ark” anywhere else in the Bible. Explain that the Ark used in Noah’s Ark story is different from the Ark of the Covenant. Define both in their Biblical contexts.) Explain that one word has more than one meaning it is called a homograph. Discuss how in both instances, ark means a “place of refuge” or a “safe place to go.” Both represented safety. How was Noah’s ark a place of refuge? How did the Ark of the Covenant represent safety for the Israelites?

Create a chart with pictures to show different examples of homographs in English.

Bass (fish vs. instrument)
Close (nearby vs. shut)
Bow (hair accessory vs. tool for arrows)
Tire (sleepy vs. wheels on a car)
Ring (finger jewelry vs. a sound that a bell makes)
Tear (caused by crying vs. splitting paper with hands)
Bat (animal vs. something to hit with in sports)
Rose (flower vs. raise up)

Play a matching game. Give students a piece of paper or index card with a picture of a single homograph word on it. Make sure that there is a match for each homograph. (Example: one student might have a picture of a baseball bat and another student might have a picture of an animal bat.) The goal of the game is for the student to find the person with the matching homograph. Students walk around and talk to find their partner. When the pair finds each other, they sit down. To make it easier, you may put the words on the cards for the first round or two. For an extra challenge, do not allow students to talk during the exercise. Play multiple times so that students practice multiple homographs.

Additional Questions:

  • Can you think of any homographs in your first language?
  • Both arks represent a place of refuge. What is a place of refuge for you? What would be an “ark” for Christians in your community?

Supplemental Activity: Students can use their cards to play “homograph charades.” Place all of the cards in bag. Then have a student pull out a card and read the homograph word aloud without showing the other students. Then the student acts out the word. The other students have to try and guess which version of the word the student is acting out.

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