The Manger in Classical Art (For All Ages)

November 8th, 2011
Image © by sarah_browning | Flickr | Used under Creative Commons license.

This activity is from the PowerXpress unit entitled In the Manger, information on ordering the whole unit is at the bottom of this page under Related Products.

MM note: Although this activity was written for children it can be adapted for use with youth and adults.

In this activity, children will examine the ways artists from different cultures have portrayed the birth of Jesus.

Go to Text Week

Click on “Luke 2—Nativity” in the Scripture list.

Review the list of artists who have described Jesus’ birth throughout the centuries. Have the children select an assortment of artists from different countries and view their creations. (Many of them are found near the end of the list.) Help the children look carefully at the pictures.


What is in the picture?
What else is in the picture?
Is anything missing?
How did the artist imagine Mary? Joseph? Jesus? the surroundings? the shepherds? the angels?
Is this the way you would have drawn the story? Why, or why not?
Why do you think this artist illustrated Jesus’ birth this way?


Have the children open a drawing program such as Kid Pix Deluxe 4 and follow the art form of one classical artist to create their own version of the birth story.

Resources optional: Kid Pix Deluxe 4

Supplies: computer with internet access

Remember Websites are constantly changing. Check the website before using it with children.

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