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(WT) Anointing of David ~ Art Workshop 2: Making a "Triptych" Writing Team

Anointing of David

Art Workshop 2: Making a Triptych!

 See Art Workshop 1 for this set.

The following Writing Team lesson plan is open Supporting Members only.

Summary of Lesson Activity 

The children will create a "triptych," a "three-fold" work of art to tell the story of David. 

You have two types of "triptych" styles to choose from:  a three-part fabric wall hanging (as a group project) OR folded wood panels (as individual projects).  

Pronounced, "trip-tik" ..the word literally means "three-fold" in Greek.

"Triptychs" were familiar in ancient sanctuaries and homes. They were a painting on fold-able and transportable wooden panels or curtains to go behind an altar in a church, or in a special place in the home. It was an ancient way of bringing the Bible's story into one's home. This lesson plan has TWO formats you can choose from to make "Triptychs." 


Pictured: A triptych story of David by Ib Meyer


Passage: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Key/Memory Verse: “For the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (NRSV)

Objectives for the Rotation

See Bible Background.


  • Read the Bible Background and scripture.
  • Decide on whether you will have the entire class work on one wall hanging, or whether you will have each student paint their own "triptych" on pre-cut luan (thin) plywood that they will fasten into a tri-fold triptych using cord.
  • Preparing the Wooden or Foamcore panels:  

Have a handy person in your church cut enough pieces of "luan" plywood for each student's triptych. "Luan" is a very thin and light form of plywood. The center piece of the triptych should be approximately 10" high and 12" wide.  Each of the side pieces should be approximately 5" wide and 10" high. The two side pieces meet in the center. Drill 2 holes along the edges of the wood panels so that they can be "hinged" with a short piece of leather cord. Sand the panel edges to remove splinters.  Alternately, cut foamcore stock to size in advance. Lace the three pieces together with cord so that they create a three panel that folds.

( If you have enough time, the drilling and sanding can be accomplished by the students using manual tools.  As well, the prepping of the panels could be a youth group project.)anointing

A shortcut to create the illustrations: Print images* of the Anointing of David from the web in advance by doing a Google image search for "Anointing of David".  You will find plenty of painting, as well as, coloring pages, that can be printed and pasted to your panels.

Another option for getting the images:  use modern day images of persons cut from magazines. For example, David's older brother could be a successful looking business person or athlete being passed over. David could be a small boy.

Materials List for Banner Triptych

  • Curtain rod or dowel rod
  • Fabric for panel backgrounds - burlap, cotton, felt, or suede
  • Fabric scraps for designs on panels – cotton, felt, fleece, satin, wool
  • Paper-backed fusible web
  • Fabric glue
  • Iron & Ironing board
  • Newsprint or an easel, with appropriate marker
  • Patterns for designs – crown, sheep, staff, world
  • Pencils
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine & Thread (Optional)
  • Scissors
  • Trims such as beads and jewels (Optional)

Materials List for the Wooden Triptych

  • Wood or foamcore
  • Cord
  • Paints, or images to glue on panels
  • Gold hobby paint and thin hobby brushes
  • Stick on gems.
  • Permanent markers
  • Images of characters printed from the web (see note below)

Lesson Plan


Ask:  What can you tell me about David?  List their responses on newsprint.

Say:  Today we are going to make a wall hanging that tells the story of David being anointed by Samuel to be the next king over Israel. 

Read the Scripture: Have the students look up the Bible story, 1 Samuel 16:1-13, and read it aloud.

Ask:  Describe what David, his brothers, Samuel and Jesse probably looked like.
List responses on the newsprint/board.

Ask:  If you were going to split this story into three sections, what verses would you put in section 1, 2, and 3?   List responses on the newsprint/board.

Ask:  God tells Samuel that he doesn't look at outward appearances, but what's in a person's heart. How would you DRAW the following ideas?  (as suggestions are offered, invite the student to draw it for others to see.

Searching   (binoculars)
Inspecting   (magnifying glass)
Choosing   (check mark)
Faith    (Star of David, cross)
Trustworthy   (hand shake)
Prayerful   (praying hands)
Spiritual, -filled  (flame, dove) 


Say: Today we are going to make a triptych wall hanging to tell the story of David. A triptych is a piece of art that has three panels, and can be folded closed. They were very common forms of painting back in the Middle Ages because they could be moved and transported. Small ones could be found in homes of the wealthy. They were often "gilded" which means, painted with gold trim (and such). 

Directions to create individual 'Wooden' or 'Foamcore' Triptychs:

  1. Help the students assemble their three panels with cord.
  2. Tell them that they can depict the anointing of David as one continuous drawing drawn across all three panels, or they can make each panel depict a different part of the story.

    [For example: the left side panel (when open) could show the older brothers being rejected as king. The middle could should David being anointed by Samuel, and the right panel could show David sitting on the throne all grown up, or God in heaven well-pleased by it all! Draw examples of possible layouts.]
  3. Remind them to leave space for writing the scripture text to the illustrations and border of the panels. This can be done with a permanent fine point marker.
  4. After the images are drawn or pasted on the panels, use gold hobby glue to "gild" the images (as was done in ancient times).  ADD key symbols as were listed in the Bible study in the opening, to add additional decoration to the panels. 
  5. You may also glue "gems" to the panels, as this was also a common practice to show honor.

Directions to create a group 'Fabric Curtain' Triptych:

  1. Arrange children into three groups. Have each group work on one of the panels. The children can draw “lots” to determine which panel they create.
  2. Talk with each group about what part of the story they will tell on their panel. Have them turn back to the story in the Bible. Then brainstorm what they might put on the panel to represent that story. Have the children plan their panel on paper first. What “pictures” will they use and where will they put it on the panel.
  3. After they have a plan, have them choose the fabrics for the item(s) on their panel. Have them trace a pattern or item on the paper side of the fusible web on the fabric.
    Caution: remember that the picture will be the opposite of what you have drawn on the backside of the paper. You may want to reverse the pattern so it is going in the right direction.
  4. Cut out the design(s).
  5. Remove the paper backing by lightly scratching a line down the middle of the design and removing the paper.
  6. Place the design(s) on the panel where you want it. Pin the design(s) in place. Take the panel to the ironing board and iron the items to the panel. Follow the instructions for ironing the design(s) onto the fabric. Let the fabric cool before you move it.
  7. Congratulations! Your triptych wall hangings are ready to hang!

Design Tips for the Fabric Triptych

  • Determine the type of fabric to use for the three panels of the project.
    - If you use burlap or cotton fabric, the edge of the panels will need to be finished for a clean look. Burlap can be left unfinished if you sew a row of stitching about one-inch from the edge and then fray the edges.
    - Another option, for any type of fabric, is to finish the edges with trims or yarns.
    - Depending on the look you want, use burlap or felt for a casual look or use cotton or felt for a more formal appearance.
  • The size of the panels is determined by where you want to hang them.
    - If you are going to hang them in a large room, like a sanctuary, you want the panels – as well as the items on them -- to be large in order to see them from a distance.
    - Panels may be the same or different sizes.
  • After determining the finished size of each panel, add at least one-half inch to three sides if you are going to finish or hem the edges.
    - Add three inches to the top of each panel to make a “pocket” for the curtain or dowel rod to hang the panel.
    - If you are not going to finish the edges, add three inches to the top of each panel for the pocket for the rod.
  • Make the pocket for the dowel or curtain rod, by folding down the fabric at the top three inches. Press. Turn under the edge of the folded fabric one-half inch and sew down or use the narrow iron-on web tape.
  • Follow the instructions that come with the paper-backed fusible-web and iron it onto several pieces of scrap fabric.

As students create their masterpieces, share thoughts and questions about the story, such as:

  • What sort of characteristics was Samuel looking for in a leader?
  • What was God looking for? (refer to the key verse written on the newsprint)
  • What does it mean that God looks at our "heart?"
  • Can we see inside people's heart? (no) Then how can we know what is inside someone's heart? (by the way they act)
  • What does this tell us about how we should act?
  • What do you suppose would have happened if Samuel had not listened to God?
  • How can we listen for God?
  • What kind of leadership position might God be calling us to?  In the world, in school, at home, at church?


Travel the students around the table(s) to see how each person's project turned out.

Make positive connections and affirmations. 

Make sure each student's name is on their project.

Make arrangements to pick up completed projects once dry.

Additional Suggestions 

Adaptations - Younger Children:anointing2

Fabric: During the course of the Rotation, each class of younger students could create one panel and assembled with panels from the other classes. Cut out the items ahead of time to be placed on the panels.

Wooden/Foamcore Panels:  Pre-print coloring pages, color, and then cut out and paste to the panels.


Written by: Team Effort!  Lorna Loeffler, Carol Hulbert, and Neil MacQueen


Images (3)
  • anointing
  • anointing2
  • triptych-david
Last edited by Luanne Payne
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