Measuring Noah’s Ark Object Lesson

Tony recently posted a Sunday School Lesson about the Flood using the Big Picture Story Bible.  We all know that despite the horror of the reasons behind God’s flooding of the entire Earth, “Noah’s Ark” remains a dear story for children.  Most every children’s story Bible, board book Bible, etc. discusses Noah’s Ark.

Have you ever thought about “bringing to life” the story of Noah’s Ark?  I am not talking about getting one pair of every animal (seven pairs of every clean animal).  No, that would be a bit difficult.  What I am talking about is measuring the ark itself with the children.  Before you do this though, you might want to measure it out yourself.

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Surprised by Size

This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.Genesis 7:15 (ESV)

A cubit is roughly 18 inches.  To make these numbers make sense to us today Noah’s ark is 450 ft. (137.16 m) long, 75 ft. (22.86 m) wide, and 45 ft. (13.716 m) tall. So, I went out to our parking lot here at my church thinking I would have plenty of room–we have room for 150 vehicles.  Turns out, the length of our parking lot was roughly half of the length of the ark.  The width was not much of a problem, but was still surprising.  The height proved to be a challenge to measure, but still at 45 feet, it can be seen.

Measuring the Ark

Take your children to the park on a Wednesday or Sunday evening where you have plenty of space–you will need at least a city block of wide-open space.  Ask them about Noah’s Ark and if they ever thought about how big it was.  Allow them to compare the ark to other things and then measure it out for them.  Start with one child holding the measuring tape and instruct him/her to stay there.  Then begin measuring out the length.  When you get to 450 feet have a child stand there and not move.

Next, move to about roughly the middle point of 225 feet, you could post a child there when you reach that point.  Measure 37 1/2 feet in either direction and post children at each point.  Now, you have the basic “layout” of the ark.

You and your children will always remember how huge the ark was.  Next time they read that story in the Bible, they will think back to that moment when they measured the ark and was amazed by its size.