Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Model of Jerusalem with wooden blocks

Several years ago, I read on Living Montessori Now about how Deb had her children in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd build a model of Jerusalem with wooden blocks. I've always wanted to try this idea, but never quite got around to it. In planning the Easter Club this year, I decided to finally buckle down and make the materials in German to do it. 

In Easter Club, I always try to have stations where the children can discover parts of the Easter story on their own. I also like to find new ways to use materials that I already have, so I combined the idea of building Jerusalem with Resurrection Eggs to tell the events of Jesus' last week, death and resurrection. 

The children are given a map of Jerusalem with numbered places such as the Temple, the Garden of Gethsemane, etc. An instruction sheet tells them to build the outer wall of the city first. 

Then, there is a basket with Easter eggs. Each egg has a number on it that corresponds to a place on the map of Jerusalem. Inside the egg is a slip of paper and a small object that explains what happened at that corresponding place on the map. The children are instructed to lay the object at that place. There is also a wooden Jesus figure to move from place to place. 

For example, location #1 is the Temple where Jesus taught daily in the few days before the Last Supper. The object inside the egg is a wooden incense altar from the Temple.

A set of praying hands go by the Garden of Gethsemane along with some trees.

A communion chalice goes by the Upper Room where the Last Supper was celebrated, and silver coins by the House of Caiaphas.

When everything is laid out, the set-up looks like this:


  1. This is brilliant, Shela! I might try this idea myself in Spain. We haven't got the materials yet for the vol. 8 GP lesson... but we do have wooden blocks! Thanks!

  2. Wow, Sheila, this is such a wonderful idea! Building Jerusalem is in itself quite an activity! But you've added a whole adventure of travelling with Jesus! I just need to replicate this!
    ps - can feel my heart beating faster now :)))

  3. This is wonderful. I love the eggs. I'll pin this one for when my little ones are a little older.

  4. Fabulous activity , you have such a gift for this, I too will be trying this in my room

  5. I'm so glad that this is something that everyone can use! Thanks for the feedback!