The craft project you complete about the Bible story of the Israelite judge Deborah will determine if students come away with a tangible connection to the story or forget it altogether. Due to her obedience to God, Deborah and her people received help from Him, allowing them to defeat their enemies. A few craft ideas will help children identify more keenly with this triumphant story.
A tribal leader, or judge, of Israel around 1125 B.C., Deborah is the only female judge mentioned in the Bible. In times of war, the people would rally around a judge, who would then gather the tribes and organise an army. According to the story, Deborah hears God speak to her under a palm tree, then enlists the general Barak to lead the outnumbered Israelite citizen militia against the army of the Canaanites. Deborah uses her strong personality and faith in God to inspire courage in a hesitant Barak. God intervenes and, against all odds, the Israelites win the battle.
Because Deborah listens to and obeys God, he sends a huge rainstorm that causes the Canaanite chariots to get stuck in the mud, rendering them useless. Help the children make their own mud paintings to re-create this scene in the story. Materials for this craft include water, white glue, paper cups, dirt, plastic spoons, newspaper, paintbrushes and construction paper. Make the mud by mixing equal parts glue and water in the paper cup, adding dirt and mixing it with the plastic spoon. Have the children paint a scene from the story onto the construction paper with the mud mixture.
Alternatively, children can craft a palm tree to remind them that Deborah sat under her palm tree and heard God. Materials needed include several empty paper towel rolls/tubes, green and brown construction paper, scissors, clear tape, glue sticks or white glue. Teachers may wish to pre-cut the palm fronds for younger students. Cover the empty paper towel rolls with the brown paper to create a trunk for a palm tree; use tape to hold the brown paper to the roll until the glue dries. Cut the green paper into the shapes of palm fronds or leaves, and glue the leaves to the top of the trunk.
This simple craft project helps kids engage in the details of Deborah's story through the tactile experience of putting something together as a take-home craft project. Materials needed include white, green and brown construction paper, and white glue or glue sticks. Cut out palm fronds from the green paper and a trunk shape from the brown paper for each student. Make a list of questions for students to answer. If a student correctly answers a questions, allow her to add a part to her palm tree. When all of the questions are answered, the students will have completed a palm tree to serve as a take-home reminder of Deborah's story.