Bible Verse Routines for 1st and 2nd Graders

Memorizing scripture is an important and meaningful activity for kids (and
adults!) of all ages!  I
blogged a while back
about the routines I use with my preschoolers… (SPOILER ALERT: yes, 3 and 4
year olds CAN and DO memorize Bible verses!)

Today, let’s talk about what those Bible verse routines look like for older
kids who are no longer emerging readers.  Some of the strategies are
similar, and others are different.  Here’s a look at how I help 1st and
2nd graders memorize Bible verses.

Read the Verse with Motions

I set up our Bible verse white cards in our pocket chart.

We start by reading the Bible verse together as I point to the words.

we are reading, I have them do motions for the verse.  They don’t have to
do motions for every word, but I try to have at least 3 motions for every
verse.  The motions help the kids attach the verse to movement which helps
them remember the verse more easily!  I have suggestions for motions for
each unit verse in my Bible unit curriculum!

Match the Color Word Cards

Depending on your first and second graders, you may or may not need to do
this.  I have found that we start this way at the beginning of the first
grade year, and end up skipping it by the second half of the year.  If your
kids struggle reading, match the cards.  If they are reading independently,
you can move on past this!

After we read the verse once, I pass out the color words to some kids…one
card per kid.  I call one kid up at a time.  They read the word (or
I help them read it) and find it’s match.

After each kid puts a word match in, we re-read the verse with the
motions.  So, not only are we working on matching and reading words, but
we are repeating the verse and committing it to memory in a fun and engaging

Sequence the Verse

If most of your kids are able to read, you can skip the matching and do the
sequencing routines instead.  To sequence, I start by passing out one
card to each kid.  Then, I ask, “Who has the word ‘The'” and kids bring
up their cards one at a time.  

After each card, we read the cards we have, predict the next word, and I ask
who has that word card.  We continue this way until we have sequenced the
entire verse!
Later, when this becomes easy for kids (especially for 2nd graders), you can
give each kid a word card and have them work together to sequence the Bible
verse without your help!

TPR Reading

Once we have all of the words matched, we read with Total Physical Response
(TPR).  This is my kids’ favorite part!  We do some motion on each
of the words.  The first one we do is, “Let’s clap on each word.” 
Then, we say the verse and clap on each word.

Depending on time, we
usually do about 5-7 repetitions of this with different actions each
time.  The actions we’ve used are….

Pat Your Leg
Touch Your Nose and Whisper
Bear Claws on the Ground and Growl
Stomp Your Feet

Independent Matching

This last part of the routine is only done on the last day of the unit
The other weeks, we just read, match, and TPR read.  The last week, we
only do the independent matching.

Each kid gets a white paper
with a space to sequence the Bible verse and word cards copied on colored
paper.  My first and second grade units come with two handout
options:  One is like shown below with the Bible verse on it and one does
not have the verse on it.  I pick the one that best fits my kids’

After we read or say the verse, the kids sequence the
word cards by cutting and pasting.

These routines are quick, easy and an engaging and effective way to help young
learners hide God’s Word in their hearts!  You can find all of these
routines and materials in each of my Bible Units!

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