In Exodus 25, God tells Moses how to build the Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of God's presence and holiness. It was a wooden box overlaid with gold, with a solid gold cover. The Ark had gold moulding around it, and two poles attached to either side with rings so the Ark could be carried. On the top were sculptures of two cherubim facing each other with their wings covering the Ark. Help kids understand the Ark and its importance by making related art projects.
Craft Stick Ark
Give each child wooden craft sticks and glue, and let them construct their own three-dimensional model of the Ark. Provide wooden dowels for them to use for the poles on either side of the Ark. Let children draw a picture of the angels, cut it out and paste it to the top of their Ark. When children are finished, let them cover the exterior of the Ark with gold paint. This will help them remember that the Ark was made from wood, not solid gold. This was so the Israelites could carry the Ark with them wherever they went.
Create a model of the Ark from a shoebox. Give each child a shoebox and let him glue a piece of gold cord around the edges to represent the moulding. Show the children how to glue two wooden dowels or two paper towel rolls on either side of the box to represent the poles. Give each child three paper plates to make the angels. Cut two of the plates from the edge to the centre, form them into cone shapes, and then staple them in place. Cut the third plate in half to form two semi circles. Fold each semicircle in half, and glue it on the back of a cone to represent the angel's wings. Have the children take their crafts outside so you can spray paint them gold.
The Ark's Contents
Teach children what the Israelites put inside and around the Ark by having them make the objects. Divide children into three groups. Have one group work on making the two tablets depicting the Ten Commandments using styrofoam tablets, grey paint and black markers. Give the other group modelling clay and have them make the pot that held the manna (sweet bread). Break a branch off a tree, and give it to the third group along with colourful tissue paper so they can make Aaron's blooming rod. When the groups are finished, come together and discuss the importance of each object and why it was placed in or near the Ark.
If you've already made a model of the Ark of the Covenant, teach children about how the Ark destroyed a pagan idol. In 1 Samuel, chapters 4 through 5, the Philistines defeat the Israelite army and capture the Ark, taking it to the temple of their pagan god, Dagon. Let children create a model of the pagan god out of clay or play dough. As a class, re-enact the scene when the Ark is placed before Dagon. Everyone went to sleep, but the next morning Dagon had fallen on his face before the Ark. They put Dagon back in his place, but the next morning, he had fallen down again, but this time his head and arms had been cut off. Let children sever the head and arms off the clay idol.