Helping Boys Memorize

Nearly everyone can memorize Scripture. Make it fun, make it a challenge, and make it enjoyable and rewarding. Repetition helps, so plan to use the verses during your meetings. Using a variety of approaches will help the most boys be able to memorize successfully.

Set high but fair standards for reciting Bible verses. Then they can be sure of what they have to do. Expect the boys to know the words, the reference and the meaning of each verse. If they understand, it will not only be easier for them to memorize, but the Scripture will be worth something to them. Without understanding, memorization is merely an empty mental exercise.

While some boys will memorize quickly and easily, others will not. For this reason avoid turning Bible  memorization into a mere contest. You want them to know, believe and act on God’s Word, not associate it with failure. Always encourage your boys. Praise them for succeeding, for making the effort and for growing in their knowledge of Scripture.

The following are a few methods to help boys memorize God’s Word. Be sure to follow up memorizing with discussion about what the verse means and what they can do about it in everyday life.

If you need some help guiding boys through bible exploration take a look at this article

Or for some specific study techniques for use with boy you may find this article a help

Scramble the Verse
Write a word or phrase of a verse on index cards. Mix up the cards and have the boys try to put them in the right order. When they’re learning the verse, let them refer to their Bibles to check themselves.

Around the Circle
Have all the boys in the squad or post sit in a circle. Make sure everyone has the verse in the same version,  when read it around the circle, each boy taking one word. Do this several times, starting the verse with different boys so they all concentrate on different parts of the verse. You can also split the circle into segments and have each group read a few words or a phrase together, switching which segment starts
the verse. Then put the Bibles down and recite the verse as a group.

Read and Disappear
Write the verse on the chalkboard or dry erase board. Read it together as a group several times. Then erase one word and read it again. Keep erasing one or two words at a time until everyone is reciting the verse.

Choral Reading
Divide the passage into parts for individuals or small groups. Read the passages several times in parts, then recite it from memory. Change parts and do it again.

Have the boys write the verse on a large sheet of paper, substituting pictures for words or syllables whenever possible.

Crossword Puzzle or Word Finder Puzzle
Use each word in a verse to make a crossword puzzle. Fit all the words into each  other horizontally or vertically (left to right and down), leaving a blank space at the end of each word. Number the first letter of every word and write a list of questions or statements to define each one. Finally, make and empty puzzle grid, filling in the blank spaces with solid boxes. Or, make a word finder puzzle. Interlock the words running up, down, left, right and diagonally. Fill in empty spaces with random letters. List the complete verse on the page. As boys find words in the puzzle, they circle them there and cross them off the verse. Boys can make their own puzzles too.

Have boys make attractive posters illustrating the verse. Provide paper, pencils, crayons, paints, etc. Display the posters.

Decipher the Code
Make a simple substitution code (a = b, b = c, 1 = 2, etc.) and write a verse in it. Or, use a dingbat font on your computer to substitute symbols for each letter and number. You can let the boys devise their own codes and give them to each other to do. (If they need a hint, give them a letter.)

Secret Verse
Have the boys sit in a circle. Give one boy a short verse (or a phrase from a verse) on a card. He reads it to himself several times, then whispers it into the ear of a boy next to him. That boy whispers it to the next one. After it travels around the circle, the last boy tells the first one what he heard. Then the first boy says what was on the card. How well did the message get through?

Give a boy a verse or a phrase from a verse that is somewhat familiar to the group. He attempts to help the group discover the verse without speaking. He can use his fingers to show how many words or syllables there are. Pulling one ear means “sounds like …”, so the others look for a word that rhymes with what he does. You can divide the boys into two groups. See which group can figure out the verses first.

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