Finished size 12" x 2" x 1½"
Suitable for adults and teens
This Noah's Ark model is built to the scale that God gave Noah. (If you prefer to do one that is easier to create, go to Project A.) Lee Kroeger in his "Visual Presentation of Creation" explains how he built a wooden scale model of Noah's Ark. The entire description (including photo) can be found at the website of "Institute for Creation Research." Kroeger says "Using an 18-inch cubit (a minimum size), the Ark was 450 feet long, 45 feet high, and 75 feet wide, with three interior 'stories' and a 'window' on top. Other details are speculative."
The length-to-width scale is 6 to 1, and the length to height scale is 10 to 1. (It is interesting to note that shipbuilders today use a 6 to 1 ratio to build ships that can withstand huge storms at sea.)
I suggest that the teacher prepare a proportionately accurate model Ark for display purposes (this Project B) and make it clear to the students that it is close to the truth, although we can only guess at the details such as the size and position of the door, windows, etc. If s/he thinks the students can work with such small measurements s/he should have the students create the same model (Project B) and not try to represent any animals and people. This model is simply too small for that! However, if s/he thinks that students cannot work in such small spaces, or that they would benefit more by "loading" and "unloading" animals, s/he should have the students create the model explained in Project A. Despite the obvious shortcomings of Project A (where the Ark model is not proportionally accurate), it does give children opportunity to construct something more realistic than the ubiquitous little round bobbing tub that cannot even properly hold an old man and a few large animals. The model will also allow children to "load" and "unload" small plastic animals and animal crackers.
If time is of the essence, it would be a good idea to cut out the construction paper pieces and mark the cut and fold lines ahead of time.
You'll find it easier to understand the following instructions if you print off the ark body and ark roof diagrams for reference. These diagrams are for illustrative purposes only; they are not drawn to scale. (Click on each of the pictures to see a larger version or the text links to get a printable PDF version.)
Centre a 2" x 12" sheet lengthwise on the 4.4" x 14.4" sheet and trace around it carefully to draw an equal size box on the larger sheet. Extend the lines that make all sides of the box to the edges of the large sheet. The box will be the bottom floor of the Ark, and the two 2" x 12" sheets will be the 2nd and 3rd floors.
On both SIDES (not the ends) of the centre box, measure .4" from the box and .8" from the box and draw parallel lines to show where the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Ark should be taped in.
Cut the lines on the ENDS (not the sides) of the large sheet to where they meet the corners of the centre box. Using the lines of the centre box as a guide, fold up the flaps thus made and fold up the long sides as well, and you will see how the main body of the Ark model is made. For now, smooth the large sheet down.
Use scotch tape to reinforce the paper at the spot where you will cut the Ark's door. This should be at the middle of one side edge (so that it matches the centre window in the top of the Ark, if that matters to you). Make the door by drawing two parallel .8" lines (about ¼" from each other) from the edge of the paper and perpendicular to it. Cut the SIDES (but not the end) of the door. Fold down the flap you have made and draw about a dozen parallel lines on the inside so that it represents steps that would allow animals to enter the Ark. (Note that this flap is at once the steps and the door of the Ark.)
Turn the sheet over, and have students draw planks and nails on it to represent the wood on the bottom and sides of the ark. The planks on the back of the steps may be drawn differently to resemble a door when shut, but this is not necessary. Draw planks and nails on one side of the 3" x 12" sheet to represent the wood on the top part (roof) of the Ark.
To make the top part of the Ark, draw parallel lines lengthwise on the decorated side of the 3" x 12" sheet. These lines should be measured thus: ¼" from each edge, ½" from each of those lines, and ¼" from each of those lines. This will leave a 1" area in the centre to be the rooftop. In the middle ¼" strips, draw small windows at regular intervals, beginning about 2" in from the ends. Put one in the centre, directly over the door, for a balanced look if you wish. Cut out the windows. You may wish to reinforce the windows by putting a length of regular scotch tape on the outside of each ¼" strip or a length of wide tape over the centre part of the whole roof.
To form the top part of the Ark, fold under the first line from the edges, fold up the second line from the edges, and fold under the third line from the edges.
Because this model (Project B) is very small and the ends are therefore very small, you can opt to leave the ends open as windows. If so, skip the next paragraph*. If you wish to close up the ends and make a small deck at each end, follow the instructions in the next paragraph. (This is recommended if you want to make an example model to guide your young students making Project A, because that model does have decks.) In either case, leave the ends open until you have finished putting the roof on the Ark--you will need to be able to insert a long ruler into the open spaces to provide a firm surface against which to press the tape.
To make closed ends and decks at the ends of the top part of the Ark, make 1" cuts into both ends of the middle ¼" strips (where the windows are), along both folds. Cut out the 1" x 1" squares you have made and reserve them. (You will need these to make a bit of deck to fill in the holes at the ends of the Ark.) Fold under the 1" x ¼" strips you have made and then smooth flat again. Tape one square to the opposite side of one of the 1" x ¼" strips from whence it originally came. Now fold in the 1" x ¼" strips so as to form an end wall, and tape in place. Tape the remaining side of the 1" x 1" square into place to make a deck. Add a reinforcing piece of tape inside the roof. Repeat the procedure to make the other end.
To assemble the Ark, you must first tape the 2nd and 3rd floors in place--on the long sides only--beginning with the one closest to the bottom of the Ark and with the side opposite the door. Place one long edge of a 2" x 12" sheet against the line .4" from the centre box of the large sheet, and tape that edge in place. Now place one long edge of the other 2" x 12" sheet against the line .8" from the centre box and tape that edge in place. Now gently pull the lower "floor" toward the opposite wall and place it against the line .4" from the centre box of the large sheet, and tape it in place--being sure to avoid taping over the doorway. Gently pull the upper "floor" toward the opposite wall and place it against the line .8" from the centre box, and tape it in place--avoiding the doorway. If you open the door, you should see the two floors in place, with .4" between them.
Insert the Ark's top into its body. Beginning with the side opposite the door, match the ¼" line at one side of the top with the top edge of the body's side. Tape in place, inside and outside. Repeat with the other side--this will require careful attention to make sure it will stay in place! Put a long ruler into the open spaces to provide a firm object against which to press the tape into place. This would be a great time to get help!
Fold in the side flaps at both ends of the Ark, fold up the middle flap, and tape in place. Then tape the ends of the top and body together. There should be no gaps anywhere, but if there are--tape them.
Explain how the animals went into the Ark two by two, and how God shut the door. Close the door and add a bit of tape to secure it shut--but not too tightly because you want it to be obviously a door/steps.
Please read my Noah's Flood article, Part 1 of 3. You can teach information from this in your own words in conjunction with this project.
If you tried this activity, how did it work for you? Would you like to submit an original, easy-for-children activity of your own for use on the website? Send me an e-mail to have your say.