Amy’s Free Ideas

Ways to teach verses

1. Print one word of the verse per card/piece of paper, remove one

word each time the verse is read (or flip over so they can take a peek if

they can't remember the missing word) This works best on the floor, though

you could fasten to a white board with magnets.


a. Scramble cards and see who can put it in the correct order the fastest

(children check for correctness, so all are involved) either use a stop watch,

or have 2 teams competing. 

b. Put cards on floor and let one child step on each card to lead the rest of

the children to read the verse, then another child walks on the verse.

c. Put cards on floor, and children take turns walking on them, but for older

children, have an "alligator" grab them if they make a mistake, or step off the

"stepping stones." The caught child takes the alligator's place. The "alligator"

should have a copy of the verse so they know when someone has made a

mistake. If it is too easy, the alligator can scramble the "stepping stones"

after each turn. Double stick tape will keep the paper from slipping, but still

allow for minor switching.

d. Tape each card to a step in a flight of stairs, and learn the verse by saying

each word as they climb the stairs.

e. Tape words in a hopscotch pattern and hop through the verse. (If you

don't tape it down, they could slip on the loose paper and get hurt)

2. Children sit in a circle to say the verse, one word per person

until the verse and reference have been quoted. Have a written form

where all can see, and a person to point to each word to keep things moving,

if needed.


a. Form 2 circles--two teams compete to finish saying the verse first(or say it

3 times).

b. Rather than one word each, say a phrase--as much or as little as each

person chooses to say

c. Hot potato--pass a potato/ball around the circle, or across the circle to

person chooses to say

c. Hot potato--pass a potato/ball around the circle, or across the circle to

determine who says the next word.

d. Popcorn--each child pops up (stands) when they say their word

e. Spinner--a child stands in the middle of the circle, pointing to random

children to say the next word, or once they know it, to say the whole verse.

To make it more game like, if the child can't say the word/verse, they take

the place of the person in the middle. To make sure children don't memorize

just one word each, the pointing child could yell "everybody change seats"

and everyone changes seats. In the mad dash, one child is left standing, and

must be the new spinner.

f. Electricity--they hold hands in the circle, and squeeze the hand of the next

person when it is their turn to say the next part.

g. Duck, Duck, Goose--rather than saying "duck," say the verse as you tap

each person's head.  At any time, the child can say “You’re next” as he

touches the next child’s head, then run around the circle to reach the empty

spot first. The person who doesn't make it, has to continue saying the verse

from the point the last person stopped, touching the children’s heads.

h. Form lines rather than a circle (more like a race) Another variation: do the

wave--stand up and wave when you say your word or phrase

3. Write the verse in invisible ink. Younger children take forever to write,

so it is best to have this written out for them.  Older children can write it out

themselves. If you have a pen that shows up the ink with a light, you can shine

the light on forgotten words until all can say it without help. If you don't have

this, write with lemon juice or vinegar, and show it by heating paper with an

iron or light bulb. If each child has a copy, and if you vary the words that are

made visible, everyone can read each one aloud in unison, each with different

missing words. Return them to their owners who can take them home and

make the whole thing visible at home with the help of a parent.

4. Cover the words of the verse rather than taking them away. One

way to do this is to cut heavy paper into strips (leave a 2 cm. margine on one

side that is not cut), and tape the uncut side to one side of another piece of

heavy paper or cardboard to form a base. Sandwich the verse between the

strips and base but be careful to write the verse so each word or phrase is

covered by one strip. Have a child decide which word to cover each time the

verse is read.

variations to encourage repetition:

a. Have slips of paper in a bowl/box, children draw out one slip and read it to

find out who reads/says the verse next:

people wearing red

find out who reads/says the verse next:

people wearing red



people who brushed their teeth that morning

people who made their bed that morning

people wearing white socks

You get the idea. Let each group decide which parts of the verse to cover or

uncover so they feel comfortable to say/read the verse.

b. Have slips of paper that children draw that instruct how to read the verse:





like a mouse

like a lion

c. Divide into smaller groups, and award points for each person who can

quote the verse, double points for quoting it with all words covered. You will

need a verse for each group, and an extra verse for the checkers to use to

verify if the person is saying it correctly.

5. Musical chairs--when the music stops, that child quotes the verse

(with the verse visible at first, erase words as the game progresses, until all

the words have been erased and they can quote it without seeing it.)

6. A puppet tries to say the verse, and makes mistakes, and the

children correct it. The puppet also asks questions to encourage the

children to explain what the verse means.

7. Make up hand motions to help children remember verse.

8. Use pictures to help children remember verse. 

9. Children color picture while listening to the verse being read, and

joining in and sat the verse as they can say it, or fill in the blank when the

teacher stops.

10. Print out 2 verses per child in a large font for them to post in their

homes--such as in the bathroom, stairwell, etc. where they will see it often,

and automatically read it as they pass by it, and before they realize it, they

have memorized it.

and automatically read it as they pass by it, and before they realize it, they

have memorized it.

11. Make a ticker tape--print out the verse on strips of paper, and tape

them together into a continuous loop that goes through a piece of cardboard,

or a cardboard box with 2 slits cut for it, so only a small portion of the verse

shows at one time. (You could flatten a paper towel tube, cut a window in it,

and run the ticker tape through that.) As the children are learning the verse,

pull it slowly, but as they get better at remembering it, pull it through faster

and faster. You may need a second person to hold the box steady as you

pull. Be sure to use heavy duty paper, or line the whole strip with packing

tape so it doesn't rip in the heat of the excitement.

12. Teams race to the white board to write the verse, one word at a

time. At first, they start with the verse already written on the board. When it

is his/her turn, the child erases the next word, and re-writes it in a new color.

After a sufficient number of "heats" for the children to memorize the verse,

erase the board, and have the teams write it from memory. If a child can't

remember the next word allow him to run back to his group so they can tell

him. This allows him to learn what he has forgotten, but the extra time slightly

penalizes him for not knowing it. The first group to write the verse correctly

wins. (Don't be picky about spelling here--the point is to learn the verse.)