Lesson II-16: The Mosaic From Israel
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 3 through adult.
Israel is a land full of history, ancient and modern. It's a holy site for three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It's a land of lush agriculture and barren desert, and a treasure of art, architecture and archeology. Must-see sites include the golden stone buildings of Jerusalem, the ruins of homes from Biblical times, Roman ruins, and Byzantine buildings. Look a little closer, and inside many of the country’s architectural finds you will discover mosaics: inside Herod’s palaces, in the ruins of ancient homes, and in Byzantine and modern churches.
This art lesson uses a simple mosaic from the floor of a church in Galilee as inspiration for creating a mosaic made out of construction paper. Students will design a simple object, cut paper “tiles” to apply to the design, and then use principles of visual balance as they finish the picture. The end result is a strikingly modern image: think of it as a highly pixelated image of a simple object!
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- A sheet of construction paper for the background
- A drawing board (12” x 16” masonite works well)
- A roll of masking tape
- A scissors (or a paper cutter, if sudents have an adult to help)
- 4 or 5 colors of construction paper to cut into “mosaic tiles”
- A small bottle of white glue
- A ruler
- A pencil
- Optional: Glitter paint
- Small cup-sized containers for paper tiles
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections
- Learn about ways to achieve asymmetrical balance. The website discusses many elements of composing. The section in the middle is about asymmetrical art.
- Geography and history
- Israel (Let's Go Explore). Read about the Biblical significance and history of Israel as well as current and curious information about foods, clothes, places of interest, and other pertinent facts of interest.
- Galilee (Let's Go Explore). A full-color picture book that takes young readers to the holy land of Galilee. Complete with photographs, maps, vocabulary call-outs, fun facts, and more.
- Israel: The Land (Lands, Peoples, and Cultures). A wonderful introduction to entice students to learn about Israel, written in easy-to-understand language. Includes breathtaking photos.
- Israel: An Illustrated History. With stunning artwork and photographs, Israel: An Illustrated History provides a thorough introduction to the history of Israel. Grades 7-9.
- Amazing Pictures and Facts About Israel: The Most Amazing Fact Book for Kids About Israel [Booklet] (Kid's U). A very elementary introduction to the land of Israel.
- Faith and Fury: The Temple Mount and the Noble Sanctuary: The Story of Jerusalem's Most Sacred Space. A story of Jerusalem's Temple Mount: the focus of the bitter and intractable conflict between Israel and the Arab world that dominates today's news
- Israeli culture and customs
- Good Night Israel (Good Night Our World). Teaches children about the Western Wall, the Israeli Museum, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, archeology, Masada, and Jewish holidays and traditions. Modern Mom calls it ”A fantastic children’s book series."
- Israel: The People (Lands, Peoples, and Cultures) An introduction to the social customs, food, and education of the people of Israel.
- If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World. See the land of Israel through the eyes of a youngster to discover what life is like in this exciting place.
- Learn to cook some Israeli food.
- Learn to make Passover food:
- Learn to make hummus.
- Learn to dance the famous Jewish dance, the Hora at these two websites.
Approximate Lesson Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Introduction and warm-up activity: 15 minutes
- Making the mosaic: 45-60 minutes
- Total time: 60-75 minutes