According to biblical stories, Moses was considered to be a prophet who helped to free the Israelites from the Egyptians. Moses is an important figure in many religions including the Christian and Jewish religions, and he is credited with both receiving the 10 Commandments from God and with writing the Torah. He also built a Tabernacle of Moses with the help of the children of Israel to serve as a meeting place for learning and worship. Sunday schoolchildren can learn about Moses and the Tabernacle by doing some fun crafts to help them better understand the story.
Build a Tabernacle
To build a tabernacle, you will need box lids, craft sticks, clay, glue, pictures or models of the tabernacle, and construction paper. Ask each student to bring in a box lid of their choice, preferably the size of a small shirt box or shoebox lid. After reading about Moses and the Tabernacle, show the students picture or models of the tabernacle and discuss its various elements. Then, students can create their own tabernacle using the box lids as their base, the craft sticks around the perimeter, and the clay and construction paper to create the structures and other elements inside of the tabernacle.
Making a puzzle with your students can help them to learn about Moses and the Tabernacle. You will need a large piece of white card stock, crayons and plastic zip-lock bags. After reading the story of Moses and the Tabernacle, ask students to choose a part of the reading to illustrate. Provide children with one large piece of card stock and crayons. Ask students to draw the picture of their choice. As students finish, help them to create a puzzle by cutting their pictures into odd shapes. Some children may enjoy drawing the lines over their picture before cutting. Students can store their pieces in zip-lock bags and exchange puzzles with friends in the class.
Ornaments or Figurines
After reading and discussing the story of Moses and the Tabernacle, show students pictures of the seven holy furnishings (Altar of Burnt Offering, Laver, Table of Showbread, Lampstand, Altar of Incense, Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat) and discuss the significance of each. Then, allow students to recreate the holy furnishing of their choice using the clay and paint. You will need clay, toothpicks, pictures of the seven holy furnishings, paint and possibly string. Students may choose to use toothpicks to help create shapes or details on their artwork or paint their clay appropriately. Finally, the finished product can remain as it is to be a figurine, or a pencil can be use to create a small hole in the figurine in order to use string to make it an ornament.
Review the significance of the seven holy furnishings (Altar of Burnt Offering, Laver, Table of Showbread, Lampstand, Altar of Incense, Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat).
Then, allow students to choose the holy furnishing of their choice to make a soap carving. You will need a bar of soap for each student (let dry for a day out of the package before doing the craft), a plastic knife (or paring knife or butter knife for older students), orangewood sticks, pencil and paper, and carbon paper if desired. First, they must draw a picture of the furnishing, then trace the picture on the Ivory bar using a sharp pencil or carbon paper. Then, using the plastic knife, the student can whittle the design making small cuts. The orangewood sticks can be used for greater detail. When finished, allow the soap to sit for a day, then smooth by wiping it gently with a paper towel.