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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church

Puzzle Map of Regions

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by  Sandra Piwko and Lisa Orchen, 2007

Subject:         Nomenclature:  Geography


Title:                          Land of Israel Puzzle Map


Age:                4+ *note-could be offered as sensorial for 2 +


Sources:         Bible (four gospels), Bible maps, handout map; RPC p. 113, SPSA Spring 2007 


Liturgical Time:  anytime; before Advent  


Doctrinal Points:

1.      Jesus is real; he lived, healed, traveled, taught, died and rose again in the land of Israel.

2.      Jesus was baptized (by John) in the Jordan.

3.      Jerusalem is the most important city for the people of Israel.


Direct Aims:

1.      to name and identify the regions (Galilee, etc.) and waterways (Jordan, etc.) in the land of Israel and provide a framework for important events in life of Jesus.


Indirect Aims:

1.      control of movement as an aid to prayer.

2.      to re-announce the paschal mystery.

3.      to prepare for later geography work.

4.      to provide a framework for listening to the Gospel (GPL).

5.      to know the historical reality of Jesus more fully and deepen understanding of his ministry on earth.

6.      to foster the child’s growing sense of time and place.

7.      review names and importance of Nazareth, Bethlehem & Jerusalem.


Description of Materials:

wooden puzzle with box and lid (the lid is optimal but optional)

puzzle pieces have dowels for easy removal.


a.       Mediterranean Sea

b.      Sea of Galilee

c.       Jordan River

d.      Dead Sea

Removable for tracing, painted pieces per control map (muted colors).

control map same size as puzzle (laminated) with the regions and  waterways colored and labeled.

regions colored and labeled.

a.  Galilee-brown

b.  Judea –orange

c.  Samaria –green

d.  Perea –yellow

e.  waterways – blue

printing on map and flags control identical with printing on control.

box with flags of regions and waterways.

each flag on stick (toothpick) in clay base, painted buff color, flag dot, with corresponding dot to waterway.

(Alternatively you can just have labels)

8 x 11 blank maps (same as top map).

crayons or pencils, appropriate colors.

9 x 12 paper or what fits puzzle box for tracing.





Lay out mat.  Place LOI Puzzle map on left of mat.

Invite children to gather at Land of Israel map

“You remember we talked about Jesus and where he walked”

“We saw the globe and flags?”

“We have a new way to look at Israel, the land that Jesus knew, it is a puzzle map.”

“What do you recognize?”  (water, different colors, different parts of LOI)

“All these colors show us different regions of Israel that have different names.”


Naming and Identifying:

“This part – the orange part – is Judea: the largest and most important region.  Here is Bethlehem (where Jesus was born), Here is Jerusalem (where Jesus died, rose) etc.”

Take out piece, place on mat

Point to Galilee, then give the descriptive words.

“This is Galilee-“An angel appeared to Mary.”

Point to the Sea of Galilee-“Jesus fished.”

Now remove the Galilee piece and the Sea of Galilee if it is a separate piece.

“This part is Samaria- “Jesus walked through to Judea

Remove the Samaria piece and put it on the mat.

“All along Samaria and Judea is the Jordan River-“empties into the Dead Sea, which is very salty – this is where Jesus was baptized.  The Jordan River.”

Remove River and place on mat.

“Across from Judea is Peraea - Jesus taught and healed in Peraea”

“Over here all of this blue is the Mediterranean Sea – it was a rich resource for Israel.  Mediterranean is huge this is only the part by Israel.”

“We can put it back now”

“Judea, Galilee, Samaria Perea”

Waterways- “Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Dead Sea

“I am going to take them out again and you can put it back together.”





2nd period lesson- 

“I’ll name places you put them in.”

“Can you put in big piece, Judea?”  (“can you find Judea,” (waterways are easier to identify), “orange one” etc.

Galilee where Mary lived?”

“Waterways, now Peraea, Samaria, where Jesus walked”


At a later time

“We are going to look at the puzzle map again.  Now we have flags that we are going to put on the regions of the map.”

“This is Judea, the orange region.” 

Give child flag and have them place the flags on the map

invite the children to match the flags to the control map and place them.  When they are done, read them to the child and celebrate their work


Prayerful Response:

            possible songs- Holy Ground, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands


Children’s Work with the Materials:

work with puzzle



make their own map

write in names on map

produce own artwork



Children’s Responses:


CGS Level 1 Catechist Training