Imagine That!

Scripture: Exodus 35-40

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review God’s descriptions for the tabernacle.
  • Students will practice listening and/or reading to help them create visual representations of the text.

Guiding Questions:

  • How can we create models by reading and listening to written descriptions so that we can better understand the text?

Materials: paper, colored pencils/markers/crayons, small boxes such as shoe boxes, fabric scraps, scissors, yarn, craft sticks, recycled materials, fake animal fur, rope, twine, chord, costume jewelry, beads, string, foil or other malleable art supplies. Be creative and use a variety of textures and items to represent decorations in the Tabernacle.

Procedure: Review God’s directions for building the tabernacle focusing on the layout and types of materials used. Divide students into groups. Each group will read the descriptions from Exodus and create it with craft materials. For the Priests’ garb, students can use a cut-out of a man and use materials to cut and glue onto him. Review the numbers used in the Bible, but do not require the students to adhere to these numbers for their art. These should be more representations than exact models. Each group can work on one of the following:

  1. Create the courtyard including the Bronze Washing Bowl, Bronze Sacrifice Altar, Exodus 38:1-20, 40:29-38
  2. Create the Holy of Holies, Ark of the Covenant and its contents Exodus 37:1-9 and 40:1-9, 20-21
  3. Holy Place including the Table of Showbread, Incense, and Golden Lampstand Exodus 37:10-29, 40:22-28,
  4. Priest’s garb Exodus 39:1-30

Compare the students’ recreations to other pictures and replicas of the Tabernacle that scholars have created.

Additional Questions:

  • Allow students to compare and contrast their creations and the pictures done by scholars and artists. What aspects are the same? What aspects are different?
  • What was the most challenging part of visualizing the scene?
  • Why do you think that God was so specific in his instructions for building the tabernacle?

Supplemental Activities:

  • What are other descriptions in the Bible that God is very specific about? Have students find when God had specific directions for his people. Students can draw or create their own pictures to present to their peers.
  • Use the instructions from Exodus and the students’ models to create a larger replica of the tabernacle using tables, real loaves of bread, blankets, tents, etc. similar to making a pretend fort.

Written by: Savannah Negas