We like to teach a memory verse from the rotation story in each rotation.


Problem:  Many rotation stories don't have "memorable" or even "key" verse in them.  Take for example, the story of the Exodus. It doesn't have one of those "really memorable" verses in it.


And there are some good Bible verses to memorize which are NOT necessarily great four or five week rotations to teach.


What do you do to get around this problem?


What is you list of "important memory verses for kids to learn" ?




This topic has been edited for brevity and readability by Wormy.




Original Post


As I was looking through our old Memory verses, I noticed that some of ours weren’t as key as they could be.



Here are some Key verses and Memory verses that I liked from our lessons as well as others that I just like. I got a number of them from the Steve Green “Hide them in Heart” CD’s (Bible verses put to song—my kids and I like them).

• Is. 9:2—people in darkness have seen a great light
• Matt. 26:28—Christ’s blood poured out for forgiveness of sins
• Mk. 16:6—Jesus is risen! He is not here
• Luke 13:29—come from north and south…to take a place at the feast
• 1 Jn. 3:8b—reason Son of God came was to destroy devil’s works
• Gen. 28:15—God says to Jacob that “I will watch over you”
• Gen. 50:20—you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good
• Ps 100:5—Love endures forever

• Jn 14:6—I am the way and truth and life (my confirmation verse)
• Jn 14:2—go to prepare a place for you
• Phil 4:8—whatever is good and noble…think about these
• Romans 8:28—all things work together for good

• Acts 16:31—Believe in Jesus and be saved
• Jn 3:16—for God so loved the world
• Phil 4:13—I can do all things through Christ
• Romans 12:21—do not be overcome by evil, overcome evil with good


• Prov 3: 5-6—Trust in Lord with all your heart
• Ps 56:3-4—When I am afraid I will trust in you
• Matt 22: 37—2 greatest commandments
• Ps 119:105—Thy word is a lamp to my feet

I look forward to seeing ideas to fit into our stories.


Key Verse vs Memory Verse

Some of us distinguish between a "key" verse in a lesson, and one you might consider a "memory" verse.  

A "Key" Verse is usually an important verse from the Bible story you are studying. It might sum up the key POINT or raise a key QUESTION. Typically, the key verse gets highlighted in the lesson plan for the teacher, receives extra time and comment in class. It might have a creative activity built around it, and it gets written on the board for the kids. 

A "Memory" Verse is a verse you create a special activity to memorize. Sometimes the memory verse comes from another part of the Bible, instead of the passage you are studying that day. For example, you are teaching Mark's version of the story of the Cross and include a memory from Romans 5:8, ...Paul's explanation of the Cross. This is a time-honored way of coming up with memory verses when the main passage doesn't have one.  Romans 5:8 could just be your 'key' verse too if you didn't want to do a memory activity with it.

The importance of "memorizing scripture" to faith formation varies depending on your denomination, tradition, curriculum, and what decade it is.  The Rotation Model was created, in part, to bring "some" scripture memorization BACK to mainline churches in a creative way (and not learning by "rote" in a pressured way). Focusing on the same story for four or five weeks in a row is one way content gets remembered our Model. Designating certain stories, verses, and workshops to carry the memorization banner is another way Rotation emphasizes scripture memory (without the distasteful baggage some of us experienced as children).

 Some Rotation churches emphasize the learning of memory verses only in CERTAIN WORKSHOPS, such as the Bible Skills and Games Workshop and Computer Workshop where they have memorization tools and activities built into the lesson, and a teacher who likes and understands that it is their workshop which carries the "memory" work for the lesson set.

Some Rotation churches may emphasize "memory work" in each workshop when the Bible story or passage contains the kind of pithy memory verse everyone should learn (A Rotation on John 3:16 or the Lord's Prayer, for example).

Some Rotation churches emphasize the learning of memory verses in OTHER teaching situations, such as, children's sermon time, and fellowship.

Some Rotation churches select a list of memory verses and then create Rotation lessons around them which emphasize MEMORIZATION. A Rotation lesson set on The Lord's Prayer, for example, might have a memorization activity in each workshop.

Most of us do a little of all of the above!  

Well, I can't say as I have a good idea on 20 verses, but believe it or not, we still do a "spring program" here at House of Hope, and each class (age 3-gr. 5) has something to memorize.


These things were chosen based on some long-ago wisdom. There have been some adaptations over the 155 years. For example, first grade used to memorize the Lord's Prayer, but now we have the Kindergarten children learn it in the fall so that they can participate in worship.


Here is the list:


Age 3: Song, Jesus Loves Me
Age 4: Song, Jesus Loves the Little Children and Whisper a Prayer
Kndg.: Doxology
Gr. 1: Galatians 5:22 (Fruit of the Spirit)
Grade 2: 10 Commandments
Grade 3: Books of the New Testament
Grade 4: Books of the Old Testament
Grade 5: Apostles Creed

And yes, they actually do recite as a class at the end of the year! I am always amazed at the participation, and when asked, parents do not want to let this go by the wayside.

Jan Snell

Cindy Dingwall's book, "Bible Verse Fun With Kids" (Abingdon, 2004) is filled with "25 verses for kids to memorize, understand and live!" It includes games, songs, service projects, crafts, cooking and more. It can be ordered from Cokesbury or Amazon.

You can see the 25 verses in Bible Verse Fun With Kids by visiting this web site which shows the Table of Contents of the book: http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/t...0412/2003021795.html


If you do a google search for "children's Bible verses" you will find a plethora of verses and opinions. Some folks have even written blogs about their list. Interesting stuff.

For my taste, some of the verses people choose are TOO LONG or are TOO COMPLEX for children. Short and sweet usually means more memorable for kids.

Many of those sites also have kids learning complex theological verses from Paul's letters. I would prefer they learn a few sayings from the lips of Jesus, and some good proverbs and psalms.  Romans 8 (one of my favorites) is more for youth and adults.

Personally, I think STORIES are more memorable than verses, easier to teach, and often pack in more meaning.  Stories are also easier to recall, and don't require EXACT WORDING to recall their meaning. 

That said, there are 8 to 10 Bible verses I think every 5th grader should know. The problem is how to teach them without repelling the kid! ...or putting too much pressure on them. I've seen that "pressure" backfire on some kids. Depends on the kid and the way you do it. ...And "the way you do it" is what Rotation is all about !!

Some "how-to" tools...

Most y'all know I like to teach with software, in part, because it makes some forms of learning EASIER for the kids to swallow. Memorization of scripture is one of those things software can do really well without the "side effects".

Kids enjoy being tested by a computer, and that means you can easily do the extremely important memory work of REFRESHING taught verses at later intervals. in fact, I would say that if you aren't planning to regularly refresh their memories, don't waste your time trying to create them. That's not opinion, that's memory science.

Long time computer labbers will remember a scripture memory program called "Wordy." When I first saw it I thought my kids would hate it. They loved it, especially when I let THEM edit in their memory verse, then play it. I remembered that 'lesson' when I started making software, and eventually made something better and more modern than Wordy called "Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory Game" CD (Sunday Software).  Google it, you'll find it.

The cool thing about this CD is that YOU decide what verses they put in, not anyone else. And then they love to type them in, and play them.

Another fun and repeatable tool is the four level game about "Bible Basics" in "Bongo Loves the Bible" CD (again, Sunday Software). 

In the interest of fairness I am also listing in this box all the 'other' software you can find that remotely does what Bongo does:


(yep, it's empty)

A few years ago I created a NEW question set for Bongo's four level game which taught the kids 10 "famous Bible verses every kid should know." John 3:16, John 14:6 etc  I made my top ten by surveying what a lot of other people tended to agree on were the top ten.  To keep it real, the question set also includes 10 funny verses from the Bible.

That's at my software site too.

Any quizzing software can be adapted to teach and refresh verse memories. And again I point out a major failing in some churches regarding the teaching of memory verses: lack of follow up.  Rote memory needs reinforced by simple repetition over the short AND the long term.

My point:

  • It's not hard to choose ten good verses for kids.
  • What's important is that you do it,
  • ....and teach them over time with a variety of media.
  • Not OVER do it.
  • and a long term plan for memory refreshing!

Here is a blog article for parents that I think has some useful points for educators selecting memory verses:  https://www.steadfastfamily.com/big-mistake-might-making-bible-memory/

A key point is to "Choose scripture that will help the child know God more." Rather than trying to change their behavior (things like "obey your parents"). 

I love that... "choose scripture that will help the child know God more." I often told our kids the story (maybe true, maybe not) about a captured soldier who was imprisoned, all alone with no contact with others and how he used a little stone he found to write down Bible verses he remembered from his childhood SS. When he was released, the entire walls and floor were covered with verses. He said, "This saved me... I knew God was with me during this difficult time."

Then I tell them my personal story -- when I was hospitalized with an illness that nearly killed me, and how the Bible verses I had memorized ran through my head the entire time and comforted me and helped me remember, KNOW that God was with me. 

I'm a believer... scripture memory is essential work! 

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