This box-theater makes it possible to stage the most important stories of the Bible, by creating the backdrops and constructing a variety of three-dimensional characters. The kit comes with the story for playing each episode. This original and very successful idea, developed in Ireland, is the basis of the "Jesse Box," a diorama for children of all ages that allows them to learn the faith while having fun. It can be used at home, in the parish or at school.
The box consists of several stories that lead the children through the plan of salvation, from the Creation to eternal life. An additional feature then gives children the possibility to reenact some stories based on liturgical feasts (such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost). After reading and listening to the Scripture passage contained in the volumes that come with the Jesse Box, the children then bring the Bible story to life, using the figures they have prepared with scissors and glue, while learning about the customs and traditions of our ancestors in the faith.
Along with the history textbook that accompanies each episode, components needed to tell and recreate particular stories, educators can also use activity books that, in a variety of ways, make it possible to deepen each narrative in the course of a week and, thus, consolidate the teaching about each scriptural episode.
The creators of the "Jesse Box" also propose prayers to be recited together by the educators and the children at the end of each historical overview, inviting the little "directors" to prepare a table for prayer, with an appropriate tablecloth, on which to place the diorama, and a candle, so that they may contemplate what they are praying about.
"The Irish families—says Gerry Malone, coordinator of the project—are using this theater box to transmit their faith to children. Groups of parents meet once a week with their children, in their homes, to support each other and share the experience of using the Bible interactively. The Jesse Box is widely used in parishes: in Dublin, for example, the pastor has helped families directly giving them a box, a valuable support for the daily direction, when families come to him with doctrinal or spiritual questions."