Book of Acts Geography Project

I usually do not have overly creative / artsy projects for my classes, but for my Acts class this semester I decided to have one assignment which allowed students to create an art project which describes some aspect of a city Paul visited.  I gave a few suggestions, but the class responded well to the challenge and brought in some very interesting artifacts to class.  Big thanks for Leslie Pumford for a Roman breakfast (fruit, “biscuit” and honey) and Shaun Winters for a tasty Roman dessert (dates and a nut-paste).  It was nice to have something to much while looking at the projects, but sadly the Romans did not drink coffee until the time of Constantine (Antony Wild, Coffee: A Dark History, 299).

Joe Cappon did an excellent oil painting of Paul’s conversion, or possibly Saul’s calling (depending on your perspective).  I am planning on hanging this on the wall in the Bible / Theology wing, so be sure to stop and see it after Spring Break.

Jason Magnusen created a model of Philippi, highlighting the Roman Cardo and public buildings.  We also had a clay-model of the Ephesian theater (Katlynn, Rachel and Kimmy) and a diorama of Ephesian culture from Jessica Daughtery.  Tony Alexander did a very nice job creating an model of the harbor in Caesarea in Blender.  I wish he had the time to do the whole city, but the section he did was very well done. Cameron Myers and Bryce Stanhope teamed up to create a model of the Temple to Apollo at Corinth (below).  This is a pretty cool model, although I am not sure what I am going to do with it now.  I am thinking of using Lego-People and creating a video of the Riot at Ephesus, but then again, maybe not.

We had a variety of other creative presentations (travel guides to first century Corinth, etc.)  There were a few scrolls describing Syrian Antioch (Jennifer Warner).  I particularly liked Christyn Benjamin’s Postcards from John Mark. Very nicely done and they tell the story well.

Just so you know I have not gone completely soft on students, quite a few wrote traditional papers researching the history of one of cities visited by Paul.  To be honest, when I was a student I would have failed at creativity, but I could write a paper.  In class, Joe Johnson said that his research on first-century Athens was quite valuable for understanding Paul’s sermon in Acts 17.

I think everyone did a wonderful job, so thanks for making this first-ever experimental assignment a success.  I am not sure how I follow this up in Pauline Lit next semester…abstract art which describes justification by faith?

5 thoughts on “Book of Acts Geography Project

  1. Hilarious post P. Long. Sorry I missed class and all that delicious not paste. And, I’ve already started my marble sculpture of Justification by Faith.

  2. This project was good enough but I found it rather hard to find stuff from first century Jerusalem. I found a lot of how Jerusalem is now but I had a hard time finding from first century. Obviously I found enough to make what I did but I would have had a much easier time on doing a project of now Jerusalem, but yet I know you wanted it to be of when Paul visited and he visited it then and not now. But that is just my opinion.

  3. I am a Bible teacher in FL and I accidentally stumbled upon this post. what a great idea. If you have a rubric for this assignment, would you mind sharing it?

    • I probably did have a rubric the first time I did the project, but I cannot find it at the moment. (To be honest, I am terrible at rubrics!) One thing I do recall is that I did not require a written explanation of the project. That is something that I changed in later iterations of the project. I wanted some sheet explaining “what did I learn from doing this project” summary from each student. In some cases, the project did not last past that class, since we ate the Roman food.

      Thanks for stumbling on the blog!

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