Lesson III-15: The Carvings of Capernaum
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 5 through adult.
In the ancient town of Capernaum, Israel, one can see the ruins of a majestic synagogue that was destroyed in the 7th century - possibly by war, and possibly by an earthquake. The ruins of this synagogue stand on the foundation of the synagogue that Jesus preached in, according to the story in Mark 1:21. The beams that once spanned the ceiling of this later synagogue were covered with carvings, most of them depicting food - seven foods that are so special to the country that they are referred to as the “seven sacred species.” You can find the seven foods growing throughout the countryside of modern day Israel.
In this art lesson students will learn about the history and importance of these seven foods, and they’ll use carvings from the ancient synagogue as inspiration for a printing project. Students will create a printing block from a styrofoam plate or platter and they’ll print over a colorful background of oil pastels - after learning about several options for creating color harmony.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson, plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the carvings.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- A printout of the warmup
- A printout of the drawings of the carvings
- A fine tipped black magic marker
- One or more styrofoam plates
- A piece of cardboard to glue the styrofoam onto
- A scissors
- A sheet of 11 x 14 drawing paper
- A set of oil pastels
- A glue stick
- A sharpened lead pencil
- A brayer
- A tube of water-soluble printing ink
- A flat surface to roll the ink onto as you load ink on the brayer
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
Color harmony: Learn six ways to create color harmony.
- Use an activity book about Israel for kids: Israel For Kids! Lessons From The Holy Land: 30 Stories And Activities About The Land Where Jesus Walked!
- Read The Story of Hurry. The perspective of a funny young donkey set against the backdrop of the many challenges and difficulties faced by Gaza Strip residents.
- Find stories about Jesus that happened in Capernaum.
- Read O, Jerusalem, a history of the birth of Israel. For older readers.
- Learn more about the history of the synagogue in Capernaum.
- Learn about archeology in Israel.
- Read Young Person's History of Israel. A history of Israel from biblical to modern times, including the current peace agreements with Arab states.
The number 7
- Learn about the Jewish Festival of Weeks.
- Learn about how the Jewish Festival of Weeks connects with the Christian New Testament.
- Learn about the Festival of Booths.
- Learn how the Festival of Booths connects with the Christian New Testament.
- Learn about the The New Year for Trees.
- Find a list of Jewish holidays.
- Learn to dance the hora, a Jewish wedding dance.