Shoebox Diorama


Dioramas are great for reinforcing a story.  Items and pictures are gathered and used to create a 3 dimensional display depicting the story you are learning about.  Decorating the walls, ceiling and floor inside a box makes a scene come alive.  Small toys can be used inside the box or simple stand-up figures can be created out of folded paper.  The diorama concept is what is often seen in the display cases at museums.

I like a shoebox diorama but you can use any box.  Alternatively, you could just use a base to make the diorama.

I love “chatting” with the students as we work together.  Sometimes the quietest children, when their hands are busy, will chatter away and share about their lives and spiritual things.  It is in those natural conversations that I find out how well they understand what the story is about.  I can use that time to continue my teaching.  In the same way I have learned some amazing things and gained very deep insights from my students’ perspectives. 

Group dioramas The teacher collects a number of items related to the story and brings them to class.  Under the teacher’s guidance the children create the diorama.

Individual dioramas– The teacher collects a number of items  related the story (enough for each child in the class)and brings them to class.  Each child makes their own diorama.

There are a number of websites that have step-by-step instructions and examples.  These range from very simple (and quick) to complex (needing a longer class time and more supplies). 

Some use hot glue guns and craft knives.  I tend to steer away from these and stick to scissors and glues like PVA, Elmer, or even glue sticks for Bible Class but they might suit your situation. 

Here are some of my favourite “how to” resources that I’ve found.

  1. Making a Shoebox Diorama.  Step-by-step instructions from
  2. Adapt this simple dragon shoebox diorama from
  3. YouTube video (2 minute and 06 seconds) on description of a diorama.
  4. YouTube video (1 minute and 27 seconds) on selecting a box for a diorama.
  5. YouTube video (1 minute and 11 seconds) on supplies you need for a diorama. 
  6. Diorama Background Choices:
    1. YouTube video (2 minute and 49 seconds) on selecting pictures for a diorama background
    2. YouTube video (3 minute and 12 seconds) on using construction paper for diorama background
    3. YouTube video (3 minute and 12 seconds) on painting a diorama background.
  7. Groundcover for the Diorama:
    1. YouTube video (1 minute and 08 seconds) on paper ground cover for a diorama
    2. YouTube video (1 minute and 49 seconds) on gluing leaves to bottom of diorama
  8. YouTube video (1 minute and 39 seconds) on adding objects to diorama background. 
  9. YouTube video (1 minute and 14 seconds) on adding objects to diorama foreground. 
  10. YouTube video (1 minute and 37 seconds) on gluing leaves to ceiling of diorama.
  11. YouTube video (1 minute and 38 seconds) on lighting a diorama
  12. YouTube video (1 minute and 23 seconds) on adding tension to a diorama scene.
  13. YouTube video (1 minute and 50 seconds) on covering the outside of a diorama.

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