- November 11, 2017 at 7:38 AM #39960
How do you introduce and practice Bible Memory verses? What methods seem to work best in aiding different students with various learning styles to memorize with the least frustration?
- November 11, 2017 at 1:44 PM #39963
We recite the verse chorally adding motions when possible. They also read it to themselves while I work with another grade.
- November 11, 2017 at 2:52 PM #39965
My students (9th and 10th graders) have nine verses to memorize every month. The passages were chosen many years ago and have been part of our staff handbook since before I started teaching here; we alternate every other year between Philippians and Colossians, and learn nearly all of each book.
At the beginning of every month I pass out papers with the month’s passage in nice big type. Students can take as many copies as they want—one for their binders, one to keep at home, one to keep in their backpacks, one to post on their locker doors, etc. We read the passage together as part of our normal morning routine. I encourage students to find a memorization method that works for them, and suggest that they try writing/typing it out and/or listening to a recording of the passage in addition to the standard reading-it-lots-of-times method. Other than that I haven’t really involved myself in helping students with Bible memory.
Students are graded according to the number of mistakes they make. The most they can make and still get a passing grade is 12. While a few students have struggled to get a grade better than C or D, I don’t recall any students who have been unable to get passing Bible memory grades (with the exception of those students who clearly put forth little effort).
- November 11, 2017 at 9:21 PM #39971
I like to work on chunks of Bible memory rather than a verse or two at a time. Currently my first graders are learning Psalm 100. I attempt to have them say it chorally twice a day–during our opening exercises, and just before we go home. We do use motion to go with it. Some years, motions have been a big key to student memory and students came up with all kinds of motions for all kinds of things.
We learn a passage nearly every month. It depends on the class because we work on one passage until I think they know it well and then we move onto the next one.
I send a paper home with the passage when we start learning it. Parents are requested to go over with their child at least once a day–some do better than others.
I also like to go over the passage with the students and give them some idea what they are saying especially since we memorize from KJV. One year I had various amusing recitations of The Lord’s Prayer. It was obvious the students had no idea what the words really were or what they meant; a learning point for me.
- November 13, 2017 at 4:23 PM #39979
We give the parents a copy of the Bible memory passages with a packet at the beginning of the year and encourage the families to review the Bible memory passages at home since 3rd-12th grade students are memorizing the same verses. The students also receive a copy to keep at school. This year I encouraged the high school students to memorize a verse or section each day or week. I’ve come to realize that doesn’t work very well. They need a structured support system to complete the memorization. We do recite it together several times a week and I started requiring them to spend some time studying with a partner or to write the passage several times a week. I would like to explore some different ways to encourage better memorization skills and independence.
- November 14, 2017 at 10:15 PM #39991
I love using music/songs as a memorization tool and Bible memory is no different! This year as a school, we are working on memorizing Psalm 119:1-72, using the songs from this website: http://www.pursuinglife.com/scripture-songs.php. We are doing the first 9 tracks, approximately 1 a month, with the possibility of doing the rest another year.
It is amazing how quickly the students are learning these songs and along with it, the Scriptures! We have hopes that this will help the verses “stick” rather than being “memorized” and promptly forgotten. I have my class practice the month’s verses both by singing it and by saying/chanting it together so that they are ready to say it at the end of the month. This also helps the student or 2 who are not as musically inclined. I also make sure to have a visual reference for the students (for me that is a transparency), especially when we are first learning it.
- November 14, 2017 at 10:50 PM #39992
I also have a review system in place where each grade reviews the passages they learned the year before. I think it has helped my students to do more than crash memorize. Obviously this works better since I teach grades 1-4 but any school can do it if the teachers work together. I mix the review passages in throughout the year and the students love it because they are usually easier.
- November 15, 2017 at 8:43 PM #41092
I am so happy to know about that website for Scripture set to music. Thank you so much for passing that on! Music really is a way to learn Scripture quite painlessly — and it sticks for a long time. For quite a few years I utilized two CDs of Scriptures set to music by Gloria Thorne (unfortunately no longer available) In the past year a student of many years ago testified that she cannot read those Psalms without hearing the music with it. It sticks. Presently we are memorizing a lot of the Sermon on the Mount and I find that talking extensively about the meaning of the verses is key to students latching onto the archaic wording of the KJV. When they understand, they can remember ever so much easier! This week during our practice time I invited students to paraphrase the specific verse we were working on, saying in their own words. That was interesting — and a way to verify their understanding. We do a lot of oral practice with motions interspersed with personal stories that amplify the meaning of the verses. Then they review on their own during the day. Last year they regularly copied the verses into their Bible Journal and often illustrated them. Illustrating helps some students memorize and helps all of us visualize what is being memorized. It feels important to me that the verses memorized are more than a compilation of meaningless words that end up making God feel distant. Sometimes we act out the passage (if it is a story such as the parable of the lost sheep or the Good Samaritan) while reciting. The last number of years the 3rd and 4th graders memorized the Christmas story and recited it while acting it out to the first and second graders (in a very low key informal kind of way with only crudely improvised props such as a box for a manger). For this only the individual(s) reciting a particular part (such as the shepherds) memorize those verses so it took only a number of days to prepare, but in the end most of them have most memorized just because they have heard it. I love when they love to memorize God’s Word and this certainly helps pave the way for that to happen.
- December 5, 2017 at 5:49 PM #41447
In the past year a student of many years ago testified that she cannot read those Psalms without hearing the music with it.
Just a word of caution about this… Music is indeed an effective memorization tool, but I’ve found that it can overpower the text. There are a few passages that I certainly did memorize effectively this way a long time ago, but now I can’t read them without that little tune running through my head, and it drives me nuts. 🙂
I find that talking extensively about the meaning of the verses is key to students latching onto the archaic wording of the KJV. When they understand, they can remember ever so much easier!
Illustrating helps some students memorize and helps all of us visualize what is being memorized.
These are great points! I appreciate your emphasis on meaningful understanding, not just recall of word-sounds.
- December 6, 2017 at 12:34 PM #41455
The ideas given above are quite helpful. A few additional comments…
Give students photocopies of passages being memorized–one to keep at school and another at home. Parents should always know (via newsletter) what passages are currently being memorized. Some review them during family devotions.
Introduce students to a variety of memory methods including motions, frequent short reviews, group oral practice, chanting/singing, picturing visuals. Some learn better in particular ways, but might not discover that unless you introduce them.
Consider giving them a sheet with only the first letter of each word. For example–for Psalm 23:1 TLIMSISNW
- July 13, 2018 at 10:05 AM #49531
Many students find that first memorizing it first using the first letter of each word is helpful. To find out why this works google How to Memorize Verbatim Text Productivity 501. Scroll down and you will find a converter that will convert the passage to first letters for you.
- July 21, 2018 at 7:53 AM #50666
- July 21, 2018 at 3:37 PM #50667
I just finished enjoying the web page mentioned. It is indeed a worthwhile read. I never understood before how using the first letter only could be so helpful and that little converter tool is really neat!
- July 25, 2018 at 6:11 AM #50686
One problem with the convertor is that in many fonts upper case I’s (l,i) and lower case l’s (L,l) look alike. That problem can be solved by using the Tahoma font.
- July 30, 2018 at 6:47 PM #50736
Thanks for that additional tip!
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