Teaching Students About the Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant, also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a gold-covered wooden chest described in the Book of Exodus. It holds great significance in biblical history, as it contains the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna. Teaching students about the Ark can be an engaging way to provide insight into ancient religious practices and deepen their understanding of biblical narratives. This article offers tips and strategies for teaching this intriguing topic to students.

1. Start with the basics

Begin by explaining the Ark of the Covenant and why it is considered essential in biblical history. Discuss its origins and purpose and its mysterious disappearance from historical records after Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylonian invaders. This introduction will provide a solid foundation for further exploration.

2. Dive into Scripture

Encourage students to immerse themselves in scripture by reading relevant passages from Exodus, Numbers, and Joshua to Hebrews in the New Testament. Reading these chapters together will give students a sense of how the Ark played an essential role in Israelite history.

3. Establish historical context

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Ark’s significance, encourage students to explore its connection to broader ancient Near Eastern history and culture. Discuss similar practices and artifacts from other civilizations, such as Egyptian burial rituals or Mesopotamian religious shrines.

4. Explore artistic representations

Art has long been inspired by biblical stories, including portrayals of the Ark. Show students famous artworks depicting scenes involving the Ark throughout art history – from Byzantine mosaics to Baroque paintings – which can generate valuable discussion on how interpretations have evolved over time.

5. Facilitate group discussions

Students often learn best when they can grapple with ideas collectively in open conversations that challenge their beliefs while encouraging critical thinking skills. Encourage students to form small groups, share their thoughts on the Ark of the Covenant, and debate different perspectives.

6. Incorporate multimedia resources

Incorporating videos, documentaries, and podcasts on the Ark of the Covenant can supplement traditional reading materials, facilitating a multifaceted learning experience. Make use of multimedia resources to capture students’ attention and provide varied perspectives.

7. Encourage creative expression

Invite students to express their understanding of the Ark through creative projects such as essay writing, poetry, or artwork. This approach can foster deeper connections to the material while allowing students to showcase their talents.

8. Invite guest speakers

Consider inviting scholars, clergy members, or theologians with expertise in biblical studies to share their insights about the Ark of the Covenant with your students. Guest speakers can offer a fresh perspective and inspire further curiosity among students.


Teaching students about the Ark of the Covenant presents a unique opportunity to explore ancient religious practices and delve into biblical history. By adopting various strategies that cater to diverse learning styles – including discussions, multimedia resources, and creative expression – educators can effectively engage students and facilitate a rich learning experience around this fascinating topic.

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