The story of Elijah, a notable prophet of God, is recorded in the Old Testament. God performed many miracles through Elijah, from raising the dead to sending fire down from heaven to consume a rain-soaked sacrifice. The end of Elijah's time on earth was just as amazing as his life had been, as Elijah became the second person to die as recorded in the Bible. But instead of letting Elijah die, God took him to heaven on a chariot of fire.
Chariot and Elijah's Mantle
A craft to tell the story of Elijah's departure into heaven can be made from construction paper, heavy cloth, scissors and some paint, felt pens or crayons. This is a simple craft project that involves drawing a chariot and Elijah's mantle or cape, then tracing the chariot on construction paper and the mantle on the cloth. Once the chariot and mantle are traced, have children colour the chariot gold and use yellow, orange and red to draw and colour fire on the chariot. The children also need to cut out the mantle traced on the cloth. Use the craft to explain the story of Elijah and his successor Elisha, who saw Elijah received into heaven and received Elijah's mantle as he was taken up.
A craft can built around the old traditional gospel song "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." For this craft, children will make a mini-book using the lyrics of the "Sweet Chariot" song. Have the children draw and colour a chariot of fire on construction paper for the front cover of the book and write the lyrics of the song on construction paper to form the body of the book. The children can also draw and colour illustrations to match the story of Elijah going to heaven on the pages of the book. An activity to go along with this craft is to teach the children the song and have them sing it before the congregation.
A shoebox can be used in an Elijah goes to heaven craft project. This project involves building a chariot out of the shoebox and painting or colouring flames on the shoebox. Take an old shoebox and cut one end out of it to form the chariot. Have the children add flames to the chariot using appropriate coloured crayon and paint, explaining that it was fiery chariot that took Elijah into heaven. Trace circles on the lid of the shoebox and have children colour the circles as they did the box. Cut out the circles to make wheels for the chariot. Using a glue stick, glue the wheels to the side of the shoebox.
Enhanced Poster Project
Have the children make Elijah goes to heaven posters. First, have the children draw and colour the background scene and setting for the Elijah goes to heaven story. Using felt-tip markers or crayons, have children include the river Jordan, the ground and the sky on the poster to form a background. Have the children use construction paper or another poster to draw and colour Elijah, Elisha, Elisha's mantle and a chariot of fire pulled by fiery horses. Once the children have finished, have them cut out their finished coloured drawings. To finish the project, have the children glue the cutouts in their appropriate places on the poster, Elijah in the chariot in the sky, Elijah on the ground and the mantle falling from Elijah heading toward the ground.