The City of Jerusalem work is a favorite of the children. They can manipulate the walls of the city, locate all the places of Jesus' last days, touch the tomb and the cenacle and the garden - and begin to get a sense for where everything is and how it fits together. Children as young as 4 receive presentations on this material and children as young as 3 are fascinated with just LOOKING at the material!
Even adults work with it and say, "I get it!" The older children (level 2 and level 3) and the adult wants to re-create Jesus' last days and hours, but also want to re-create what happened at the Presentation in the Temple, the finding of the Child Jesus and other accounts that happened in Jerusalem. So frequently, a child reading a Scripture passage related to Jerusalem will want to go sit next to the material while reading, even if all the action takes place in one location.
The first time I wanted to present this work to my first atrium children, I ran short of time that week. partly because I was having serious issues getting the computer file right - I started with a photograph of a poster of the City of Jerusalem, turned it black and white and literally erased everything I didn't want. But it wasn't printing out right. Asked a friend for help on settings and finally got it - printed it out on multiple pieces of paper, cut out the sides of a large box (either from a child safety seat box or the box for the pack-and-play I didn't want - or something like that), and affixed the paper pages to it. Traced my son's blocks to use as walls. Added some coloring and voila:
|We no longer have the blocks so I need to replace the walls.|
Still have the charts though!
As simple as it comes; thrown together;
just need to white out the mistake and retrace the walls
and it will be functional for another atrium.
Any of you history buffs noticing a HUGE mistake I made on the original maps????
I still had the additional WALL that was added much later! So I have parts labeled wrong! Where I have that white tower in the upper right corner? That is supposed to be on the squarish looking thing on the "inner wall" - the Tower of Antonio. Argh! It took me 2 years to figure out what the issue was - by then I'd made all the Scripture booklets a few times over, with the incorrect map as a page. Then I got it fixed, but still had the old file - which popped back up when I moved to where I am now to set up atriums here.... So if you are IN one of those atriums and reading this - please check your Scripture booklets! I fixed what I had to access to at the time, but that leaves one more parish unchecked! Sorry! That file is now totally deleted! I have the file, am happy to share - or check the closet in the office - there should be extra replacements when I printed a BUNCH of them at once and laminated them ALL in preparation for replacements.
The tomb fell apart during my presentation. So it has been glued back together with wood glue. In preparation for use in the new atrium, everything is to be wrapped in a layer of plaster cloth. It is presently styrofoam or small cardboard pieces shaped and wrapped in Crayola Model Magic. The garden trees are plastic ferny-tree-like things from my son's animal scenery.
The crucifix is broken off a plastic broken rosary.
And the original candle holder was/is (I still HAVE IT!!!!) a square of cardboard wrapped in masking tape, with a birthday candle inserted and the tape wrapped around that, loosely. I then removed the candle and dipped in my son's sandbox sand (very fine) to make the tape not just too sticky anymore.
Who said the materials need to be fancy?
This is the ESSENTIALS!
For the record, I have never made a City of Jerusalem since. I am routinely asked if I will make walls, but I haven't yet done it. Maybe because I know how basic and cheap it can be (the model magic was soon to dry up anyway - my daycare kids did NOT like to use it; paper and ink and tape were fresh - all else was found around the house or would have been garbage if I didn't use it here.