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Ideas for Keeping Bible Memorization a Priority in Your Children’s Classroom

Principles:

1. Explain the significance of the verse.

2. Be sure the class understands the meaning of difficult words.

Otherwise, it’s going to be like trying to build a model airplane without glue. Nothing will really stick for they are trying to remember things they don’t even understand. And they may develop wrong concepts.

3. Have the children look up the verse in their Bibles.

4. Help children make visual associations, when the verse lends itself to that.

What mental image comes to your mind when you hear the word Nike? It’s that celebrated swoosh emblem — and when you see it your mind conjures up a vast line of athletic products. It’s because the company has visually associated that emblem. Visual associations will help God’s Word STICK in the hearts of boys and girls.

5. Weave the verse into every aspect of the lesson.

6. Be prepared as a teacher.

Know the scriptures you are teaching by memory. Be sure the scripture is posted in the room for everyone to see

7. Recognize accomplishments through verbal praise or awards.

Psychologists remind us that memorization is achieved with maximum efficiency only when there is some external reward given to the learner: praise, approval, certificate, trophy, prize.

Children are different. No one else can turn on your internal motivation button except you. We can’t reach inside children and turn ON their motivation buttons.

It’s out job to find whatever to get kids motivated to learn God’s Word. There are some who we can just challenge them with the importance of hiding God’s Word in their hearts. Others, this will not phase. Their internal motivation will be accelerated only through tangible rewards.

8. To lock in the reference, say it before and after the verse.

9. For all age groups, the key to memorization is repetition.

Make it fun! Be creative! Verses studied once are easily forgotten. Review helps children retain what they have learned and helps make the verse a part of the child’s life

10. Be selective.

It’s better to learn a few verses and remember them, than try to memorize a lot and not learn them well.

11. Do not undermine self-esteem or contribute to a sense of failure in slow learners.

12. Send the verse home in printed form. If possible, something the child has made.

Deut. 11:18-21: So keep these commandments carefully in mind. Tie them to your hand to remind you to obey them, and tie them to your forehead between your eyes! Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting at home, when you are out walking, at bedtime, and before breakfast! Write them upon the doors of your houses and upon your gates so that as long as there is sky above the earth, you and your children will enjoy the good life awaiting you in the land the Lord has promised you.

13. Be creative!

All that happens week after week in Bible memorization is sequencing — putting words in the right order. Have fun – use your imagination. The key to teaching memory verses to boys and girls is found in the one word VARIETY. The effective teacher will use many ways to teach pupils the Word of God.

IDEAS

1. ECHO GAME

a. Teacher says verse – class echoes
b. All odd #’s say – Even’s echo
c. All blue eyes say – others echo

2. BALL PASS

The children pass the ball around a circle until the teacher says Stop. Whoever is holding ball – and the persons to the right and left say verse.

3. HIDE and SEEK

On Styrofoam cups, write one word of the Bible verse on each cup. Select half of the class to hide the cups. The other class members find the cups and place them in the correct order.

4. TAKE AWAY

The same Styrofoam cups used in Hide and Seek may be used. Choose a child to come and take away one cup. The class says the verse. Choose another child to take away another cup, until all the words are gone and the verse has been memorized.

5. IS THAT RIGHT?

Use a puppet who says the verse incorrectly and then asks the class, Is that right? They tell the puppet the correct way to say the verse. He tries a second time, but says something wrong again.

The children repeat it back to him correctly. Continue several times.

6. CAKEWALK

Use paper plates. Write one or more words of the verse on each plate. Write the beginning reference in RED – everything else in black. Arrange the plates in a circle – like a cakewalk at a fair – with the words in order. When the music plays, each child walks around the circle. When music stops, whoever is standing behind the red circle starts. Each child reads the word he is standing behind, thus reading the verse around the circle.

7. VERSE – ER – CISE

Do exercises while saying verse.

8. NUMBER HOP

Scatters number sheets on the floor. Play music (or simply say walk, walk, walk) as children step from one number to another, trying not to touch the floor. When music stops, each child freezes on a number. Teacher draws a number from a bag and reads it. The child standing on that number, and the child standing on preceding two numbers say the verse together.

© by Betty Robertson
Creative Christian Ministries

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