If you don't know it, they won't learn it.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
Begin, interrupt, and end class with the memory work.
For long pieces (books of
Bible), start with a few and add a couple each week.
Sing. Everyone remembers a song
easier than a sentence. (think TV commercials)
Set the words to a tune you already know.
E-mail the memory work to students during week.
Make it physical. Have students count on their fingers, make
hand motions, or act out memory work if appropriate.
Large Scale Memorization
Reader Brian Waters has generously submitted a
Bible Mnemonics, explaining techniques for memorizing
large passages of scripture. He submits:
"Bible Mnemonics is book
that explores the richness of God' word and illustrates an effective
simple system for memorizing scripture that will empower those who
hunger and thirst after God's Holy Word to mentally store large
volumes of biblical texts with longevity, accuracy and ease of
information retrieval. This system will guide the reader in laying a
sure foundation of biblical knowledge for the basing of all future
analytical learning, meditation and life application which will
ensure maturity in those believers who consistently apply its
"The author of this book Brian Dash , through
his hunger and desire after knowing God's word, much research, and
trial and error has detailed one of the most effective and inspiring
ways of storing God's word in our hearts in his book. Early in his
Christian walk he realized his walk with Christ rested more upon his
pastor's faith and their understanding of the scriptures and
realized the need to earnestly consecrate his own life. This
consecration led him to commit ten hours a week to Christ in effort
to learn his word. He has now memorized thousands of verses with the
ability to recall verbatim and outlines his methods for you in this
Digital Book (pdf) (linked with permission of the author)
Good for preschoolers. Make cards with an image from the
lesson or verse on one side and the memory work on the other. The children
will identify the image with the verse, and will have better recall in later
These cards are designed to fit on pre-perforated business card
sheets. Use to play "concentration", attach to magnets to use on
whiteboards or cookie sheets. For more ideas, see the
Books of the Bible FlashCards page.
Hide that Word
- Good for juniors. Takes time, but good when they don't
study at home. Print each word of the memory verse/list on a 3x5 or 4x6
card. Thumb tack the cards to a bulletin board in order, facing-out. Have
the class read it aloud together. Turn one card over, and have a student
read the verse, filling in the missing word. That student then turns over
whatever word they choose. Repeat with the next student, until all the
cards are turned over. Variation includes writing the words on balloons
and popping them one at a time.
Reverse the process. Write the verse, short ones are easiest, on a
pasteboard. Cover each letter individually with a post-it note. Have the
students guess letters, and reveal them when they are right. The first
student to guess the verse correctly wins.
Use drafting tape or chalk to draw a hopscotch grid on the
floor. Tape the Bible verse words into the grids. Have students jump through
the hopscotch in order while saying the verse.
Order a hopscotch board like this
one from Highlights for Children and put words from the memory verse
on each block.
Juniors. Write out the verse on a large piece of paper, or
more than one if the class is large. Cut the paper into a jigsaw puzzle.
Divide the class into groups and have them compete to put the puzzle
Print the verse or list on 3x5 cards, one word per card.
Make more than one set for large groups. Divide class into teams, and have
the teams put the cards in order.
Variation: Tape the 3x5 cards onto cans.
Have the students puts the cans in order on a table.
Variation: No cards, have the students stand in a circle. The first
student says the first word, then tosses a bean bag to whoever they want.
That person says the first and second word, then tosses the bean bag. The
bag continues around the circle, each person repeating the whole verse. When
they know the verse or list, have each person just say the next word in the
series. Encourage them to go as quickly as possible.
- Larger groups. Print a verse or list on cards. Hand each
student one card. Have the students line up in a circle in order.
Replace the bean bag with a ball of yarn. Have students wrap the yarn
around their finger when they catch it to create a huge spider web.
Point to students randomly, breaking rhythm by repeating students, etc.
Get an arrow spinner from a game or draw one on a bottle. Spin the arrow
to see who says the verse next.
Pass a Bible around the room while singing a song. When the song stops,
the person with the Bible says the verse.
Have students recite the verse to a puppet. Have the puppet repeat back
the verse. Occasionally have the puppet repeat it incorrectly to have
the student correct him.
Call on groups of children to say the verse together. (e.g. everyone who
has blue eyes, everyone who had cereal for breakfast, everyone who has a
Blindfold one child. Other students stand in a circle around them,
passing around a bell and each ringing it once. when the blindfolded
student calls stop, the student with the bell says the verse. The
blindfolded student tries to guess who said the verse. (students can
disguise their voices). Then the child with the bell replaces the one in
Play outside. Name one child 'it'. That person tags another, who must
say the verse. The two of them hold hands and tag a third, and so on
until the last student has said the verse.
will create puzzles for you from verses!
For readers. Done as a group, in little groups, or
Take all the vowels and spaces out and have the students
recreate the verse.
Assign a symbol for each letter and have the student
break the code.
Put the words in a word search or crossword puzzle. Try
a crossword without any clues.
Divide the verse into parts and have students represent their part in a
drawing. You could have one big mural on a wall, or have each group work on
a page, which you would then put in order. If they are having trouble, have
them do it rebus style with words and pictures inter-mixed. then in
reviewing the verse, show them the artwork to help stimulate their memory.
the Books of the New Testament with Books of the
Bible Bingo - FREE! Provides visual and aural reinforcement of the
books of the New Testament. Even usable with pre-readers! Print it
today. Uses the same images as the flash cards.
Bible Memory Games
This book of games is
designed to help teachers teach any Bible memory verse. Games include circle
games, movement games, craft games, use of puppets, puzzles, and many more fun,
easy-to-teach activities. Supplies and directions are provided for each
individual game. Most use simple items that are readily available. Recommended
for ages 6 to 12.