Saturday, January 16, 2021

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Biblical Geography

Making 2D and 3D Maps of the Holy Land

In the Level 1 Atrium (for ages 3-6), Simple Geography

Hands-On Lessons in Two and Three Dimensions

When we teach the young child about the Holy Land--where Jesus's coming was announced, where He was born, and where He died and rose--we keep things simple and hands-on.  We use a raised surface map of Israel to show the important cities in Jesus's life (the 3D map) and a puzzle map of Israel with the names of the regions and waterways.  Both are doable at home, especially these days where you can use the internet to pull up maps of the area.

To make the 3D map I started with a wooden tray (any Montessori classroom has several of these!) and some papier mache.  You could make your own papier mache pretty easily, but I used some CelluClay I already had on hand.  Simplify so that the child can focus on basic impressions--where the bodies of water are, where the land is hilly, etc.  You will make three holes in your sculpted creation so that you can insert skewers identifying Nazareth (where the Holy Spirit is symbolized by a white dove and which marks where the Annunciation took place), Bethlehem (where a yellow star symbolizes where Jesus was born), and Jerusalem (where a brown cross symbolizes His crucifixion and resurrection). 

I used cheap acrylic paints to color the land and water.  I suppose it would be smart to finish with a clear coat spray for durability.  The cross, star, and dove were made of Sculpey (you could use any polymer clay) and then affixed with Gorilla Wood Glue.

I snipped off the pointy bits for safety's sake.
To see my post on making the 2D map, click here.

As a member of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd USA I had access to their simplified map of the Holy Land, but it wouldn't be hard to draw your own using online maps of the area.  Just focus on a few basic regions and bodies of water, provide labels and a control map. 

If you've read this far, you may also be interested in the Parent Pages created by CGSUSA regarding Biblical Geography.   In addition, they have created Parent Pages for teaching elementary aged children.

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