Bible Memorization
~ Invaluable and Fun ~

It’s hard to place a value on Bible memorization. The verses I learned as a child are with me still, coming to mind when I need encouragement and guiding my decisions with gentle promptings. I may not always remember the reference or even the exact wording, but the truth is still there. The seed planted many years ago continues to grow and bear fruit in my life.

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As much as I value the importance of Bible memorization, I realized awhile back that I was not making effective use of class time to help my students memorize verses. And sending verses home with them wasn’t very effective either, as few students memorized them at home. (We can bemoan this problem, but I prefer to accept it and help kids memorize verses however I can.)

I decided to make Bible memory work a priority on the class schedule. (Memorizing things can’t really be rushed, so you must make a commitment to spend time on Bible memorization.) Here are some ideas that have worked for me and my students:

  • Devote 20 minutes of class time to memorizing Bible verses.
  • Make this small-group time. We divide our class by age with one teacher for every three to four students (optimally). If you have a lot of kids, invite some other adults to come into the class for just this 20-minute portion to be "Bible memorization mentors." The kids love this time of quoting verses and interacting more personally with a teacher!
  • Decide on a list of verses to be memorized and then let the kids work at their own pace. That way, the older children (or faster learners) don’t hold back the younger. Everyone is challenged to make as much progress as he/she can.
  • During small group time, have teachers assist kids in learning their verses by reading and repeating them, creating motions to go with them, singing them, etc. If each child in the group is working on a different verse, be sure to spend a little one-on-one time working with each.
  • Have coloring pages (preferably relating to verses you are memorizing or things you are learning in class) to occupy one-time visitors, younger students, or any student who is waiting his/her turn to quote a verse.
  • Have a chart or booklet of some kind to keep track of each student’s progress. Teachers should initial and date when a verse has been quoted. A booklet we have used is Quick and Powerful Scriptural Concepts for Children by Valda Johnson and Ilene Sargeant available from Pentecostal Publishing House.

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  • Praise students publicly for their progress. From time to time have volunteers quote a verse during Review or another part of the class, giving them an opportunity to show what they have been learning.
  • Reward each student’s effort. When a student reaches a certain milestone (i.e., having memorized a certain number of Bible verses), I like to reward him/her with a two-part prize: something of instant enjoyment (such as a large sucker or candy bar) and something of more lasting enjoyment (like a book). Some fun books I have used as prizes are the Scripture Sleuth books by Mat Halverson. These books are similar to the Encyclopedia Brown books with the protagonist, Concord Cunningham, solving mysteries using his knowledge of the Bible. Readers are given a Bible reference so they can look up a Bible verse and try to figure out the solution to the mystery before looking in the back of the book for the answer. If you order directly from Mr. Halverson's website, he will autograph the books for you. The books are also available at Amazon.com.

For more Bible memorization ideas, visit my Memorization Tips page. You will find some helpful activities, whether you teach a small group or a larger class.

Also check out my page on memorizing Bible verses by setting them to music. You will find printable visuals as well as audio clips for Bible verses that I have set to simple songs. My students really enjoy memorizing verses in this manner!

In addition, my Books of the Bible page has some fun ideas for memorizing the names and order of all 66 books.

May God bless your efforts!


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