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Memory Activities

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 digitial book, 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 practices.

"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 book."

  Download the Digital Book (pdf)

Flash Cards
 

 

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 weeks.

Print Old Testament Flash Cards .pdf
Print New Testament Flash Cards .pdf
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.

Variation
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.

Hopscotch

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. icon

OR

Order a hopscotch board like this one from Highlights for Children and put words from the memory verse on each block.

Jigsaw Puzzle

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 together first.

Mix-up

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.

Round Robin

Larger groups. Print a verse or list on cards. Hand each student one card. Have the students line up in a circle in order.
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.
  • 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.
    Get cozy in a bean bag chair or other foam furniture. Great for kids rooms or to add to your living room furniture.
  • 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 sister.)
  • 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 the circle.
  • 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.  

Scramble/Cryptic

Puzzlemaker.com will create puzzles for you from verses!

For readers. Done as a group, in little groups, or individually.

  • 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.

Visualize it 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.
Bible Bingo

Review 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.

   free sunday school lessons

Available from Christian Book Distr.
  

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.

 

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