Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Mary Rose rolled over in her cozy bed and blinked. Morning. It came just as fast as her mother told her it would. Spying her clothes and shoes that had been laid out the night before, she remembered. Sunday. “Today I get to say my memory verse in Bible class that I’ve practiced on all week!” Adding to her excitement she smelled breakfast cooking downstairs. Throwing back the covers and bounding out of bed, she stopped just l
ong enough to grab some small folded cards on her night stand. Suddenly bare feet were heard in the hall and on the stairs. Jumping off the bottom step she raced into the kitchen. With eyes beaming she exclaimed, “Ma-ma! Today I get to say my Bible verse to my teacher!” Ma-ma reached down and gave her a good morning hug and kiss on the cheek. “Good morning sunshine.” Bending down and looking into her eyes she said, “I’m glad you are excited about learning and saying Bible verse today, and I know you will do a great job.” Mary Rose opened her hands and said, “See, I brought my memory verse cards down with me. Mary Rose proudly held out the colorful cards that had a few words of the memory verse on each one. “Maybe I will get more cards today in Bible class with another verse to learn.” She smiled, “I like learning Bible verses, and if I keep getting more memory verse cards, I think I will need something to keep them in.” Thinking a moment she asked, “Do we have something I could use?” Ma-ma reached in the cupboard and pulled out a little tin box. It had pretty painted flowers and a lid that opened and closed on hinges. Taking out its contents she handed it to Mary Rose and said, “Will this work?” Mary Rose said, “Oh yes! Oh, how pretty. Thank you Ma-ma, thank you!” She happily put the cards in her special tin and asked, “May I take my tin to Bible class so I can show my teacher?” Ma-ma smiled and replied, “Yes, you may.”
To my Sister Bible class teachers,
Mary Rose has been a prime example of a child who’s excited about having learned her memory verse for Bible class and who also had the encouragement of a supportive parent. How wonderful it would be if everyone had the same sense of achievement, excitement, and support for committing a Bible verse to memory as Mary Rose!
Who doesn’t love it when any child comes to Bible class excited about saying their memory verse? They are prepared. Happy about learning the Word of God and also about putting that sticker up on their chart or ribbon showing their progress. Maybe you have a memory verse booklet they get to glue or write their Bible verse in for a later take home. Week after week it all adds up and we actually see our students obtaining the goal set before them.
This month I will be sharing 4 ways of helping our Bible students learn a memory verse, plus a few a found on line.
The first method came about during my preparation for our five day Vacation Bible School. I was excited that I had gotten my name in early to teach the 4th grade. I smiled thinking of the students who would be in my class. Indeed, it would be one of the larger groups, and we may be the banner class every day, but having had the pleasure of teaching several of them over the past years I knew it would be great. One thing that has always been a challenge for me, though, is helping my students learn the memory verse. I came up with an idea and was looking forward to trying it out as it would be great for a small or large group.
V.B.S. had arrived. Day one. My helper and I greeted twenty two 4th graders into our pew. Wow! Some outgoing, some shy, some happy to be there and others not so sure, but they all enjoyed the singing. As we walked to the class room a surge of excitement went through everyone, including me. After the Bible lesson it was time for our memory verse challenge. I called it: Divide and Conquer – (Cards that Mary Rose brought home to help her learn her memory verse.)
#1 Divide and Conquer
- Several half sized poster boards or smaller paper.
- Black sharpie marker.
- Enough floor/table space to stand each poster/paper up.
- Fold each poster/paper in half so they stand up.
- Write out the whole memory verse by putting a few words of the verse on each piece beginning with the scripture reference and one or two of the first words of the verse on the first piece.
- On the back for teacher use only, number the posters so you can set them up in order with ease in front of the class. The words of the verse should be facing the students as you set them up in order.
- Say the Bible verse 3 times in unison and then have a student volunteer come and take away one of the cards, (that’s the divide part) and then again say it in unison. After each time it is said in unison take out another card until no cards are left.
- Then ask who wants to say the verse. Hands will fly up!
Everyone in our class said and learned the verse. (That’s the conquer part!)
Each day we learned our Bible verse together. I had a large space with a large class. Smaller cards work great for a smaller space with fewer students. Appreciated so much my V.B.S. aid making a set of Divide and Conquer cards with words on them for each day’s take home.
- Divide and Conquer can also be done on a white board. Just write out the words and erase until you have no more words.
- Print out the words of the verse on paper, cut them apart and put them in snack size zip lock baggies for take home.
- Add a magnet to the back of a laminated set and use them in class on a magnet board. Mix the words up, put them in order, then play divide and conquer.
#2 Picture Portrayal
This is very effective in helping the students learn and understand the memory verse and can be used alone or with any other method as an aid. Have a visual representation depicting what the Bible/memory verse is about. It helps to apply or drive home the point of the lesson.
- If the verse is about a specific person in a lesson and what they did, then have a picture of that person doing what they did in the lesson.
- If the verse is about a specific action such as sharing, then use a picture of people sharing.
Follow the lesson plan and just elaborate.
Here is 1 of the 5 posters I made for my V.B.S. class using the method picture portrayal.
It was 5 keys to staying on the right track. Here is one.
- The rectangle shaped color picture with the boarder is a visual that came from our V.B.S. packet. Promise Publishing, distributed by 21st Century Christian. The Theme – All Aboard the Kingdom Express – Staying on the Right Track in a Troubled world.
- The rest of the pictures I found on line or had in my collection of visual aids.
- The number was dye cut for day 1 of V.B.S.
- The title and verse I printed off on my computer and enlarged them on the copier.
This one has been around for years and is still fun and easy to play and doubles as a lesson review. Play it with 2 or more students. Play individually or with teams. Make a puzzle from the words of the Bible verse using pictures/symbols. The two Bible verse puzzles below are for Bible lessons The Cleansing of the Temple and The Prodigal Son.
- One white or colored poster board.
- Pictures/symbols of Bible verse for puzzle.
- One contrasting color sharpie marker.
- Laminated colored paper cut into squares.
- Scotch tape/double stick tape.
- Glue if you chose to glue on printed pictures/symbols.
- Draw the pictures/symbols with marker onto a white or colored poster board or print pictures/symbols from the computer and glue onto white or colored poster board.
- Laminate poster.
- Take squares of laminated paper (any color or print) and tape the squares onto the laminated poster board covering the puzzle.
- Number each square 1-?. Note: For the amount of squares that cover the puzzle you must have the same number of questions to ask from the Bible lesson, e.g., 15 squares = 15 questions.
- Ask a question and if the person or team answers correctly they get to choose a square to take off. As you proceed in this process the first person or team to guess the memory verse puzzle wins.
#4 Scripture that Picture
I used this method for my 2nd grade class when I had a student who dealt with dyslexia. When using this method for our Bible verse she was able to participate with more ease and not feel as self-conscious. Instead of a memory verse we had a Bible verse of the day.
- One white or colored poster board.
- Colored paper for cut out shapes.
- Laminating machine.
- Dye cut or traced shapes (cookie cutters could work well to trace around.)
- Bible verse – written out with black marker onto the shapes or printed from computer – cut words of verse apart and glued to each shape before lamination. (Laminating paper before cutting shapes saves time.
- Sticky Velcro
- For each word in the Bible verse, make a different laminated shape cut from a dye cut machine using laminated paper. (If you don’t have a dye cut machine trace your shapes or draw them and cut them by hand.)
- Draw the shapes onto a poster board by tracing around the shapes that contain the words.
- The shape with the first word of the Bible verse needs to be the first shape outlined on the poster board and the other shapes added following in order of the Bible verse resulting in the words being in order and creating the verse to be read.
- Add sticky backed Velcro to the back of each shape after you have traced around it.
- Note: the outlined shapes on the poster board do not have any words on them. They are simply the placement for the shapes with words.
- Be sure to laminate the poster board after outlining the shapes onto it.
- Add Velcro to the empty poster shapes.
- As students match the shapes with words to the empty shapes on the poster read the Bible verse over each time a new word is added.
The name of this Bible verse game derived from brainstorming with my son Jeremiah and his wife Amy. It is about scripture that has been put onto picture shapes. You make the pictures create scripture by putting the pictures with words in the correct order. – Scripture that picture.
There are many other ideas out there! Pictured are some I found on Pinterest:
- Tongue depressors with Bible verse words on each one, glued together onto paper with a small space in-between each so they fold up and unfold with a tie revealing a couple words at a time.
- Large Lego’s with one or two words of the Bible verse on each Lego stacked up so the one can read the Bible verse.
- Plastic tumbler cups that stack with one or two words of the verse written on the lip so you can see the words as they are stacked. (Shown with Books of the Bible.)
- “Vacuum Verses” The photo is blurry because the kids are frantically trying to be the first to suck up all of the parts to the Bible verse and put them in order.
For printables see link
Doing what we do…touching and training young hearts in His Word.
Great opportunity awaits us!
And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
By Gwendolyn Schnell
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