Teaching Students About the Interior of the Tabernacle

The Tabernacle, also known as the Tent of Meeting, holds significant importance in Judaism as it served as a place of worship and the dwelling of God while the Israelites journeyed through the desert. Teaching students about the Tabernacle can foster a deeper understanding of Jewish history, biblical events, and religious practices. This article will explore various methods and resources to help educators effectively teach students about the interior of the Tabernacle.

1. Begin with Historical Context

Begin your lesson by providing students with a brief history of the Tabernacle. Explain its origins in Exodus 25-27 when God instructed Moses to build a sanctuary where He would dwell among His people. Discuss its construction, materials, dimensions, and overall design. Explore its purpose and significance in relation to Jewish history and religion.

2. Break Down the Components

To facilitate understanding, divide the Tabernacle into sections, like outer court, holy place, and holy of holies. Describe each component’s function, features, and religious meaning.

– Outer Court: Introduce the entrance gate, altar for burnt offerings (bronze altar) and basin for ritual washing (basin of bronze), highlighting their significance.

– Holy Place: Describe the menorah (golden lampstand), table for showbread (bread of presence), and altars for incense – each having distinct symbolism in Jewish teachings.

– Holy of Holies: Emphasize how this area was separated from other parts by a veil and contained the Ark of the Covenant which housed the Ten Commandments.

3. Employ Visual Aids

Encourage student engagement by using visual aids like illustrations or 3D models to provide a clearer picture of all elements within the Tabernacle. You can also use online resources that offer interactive tours or videos demonstrating its layout.

4. Connect to Rituals and Practices

Explore the roles of priests and Levite tribes in performing sacred duties such as offering sacrifices, maintaining the Tabernacle and serving as custodians of religious artifacts. Discuss modern-day Jewish practices that have roots within the Tabernacle worship system.

5. Incorporate Active Learning

Teach students about the Tabernacle through interactive activities like role-playing, debates, or quizzes. Encourage them to come up with creative projects expressing their understanding of the topic, such as writing a diary entry from the perspective of an Israelite or constructing a miniature replica.

6. Emphasize Personal Reflection

Foster critical thinking by having students ponder questions like ‘How does the concept of the Tabernacle resonate with modern-day religious worship?’, ‘What do we learn about God’s relationship with human beings through understanding the Tabernacle?’ or ‘Why is it important to study the historical context of religious textiles?’


Teaching students about the interior of the Tabernacle can greatly enhance their understanding of biblical history, Jewish beliefs, and religious practices. By breaking down the structure and components, providing historical context, utilizing visual aids, connecting rituals and practices, incorporating active learning strategies, and encouraging personal reflection, educators can provide students with a comprehensive and engaging learning experience.

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