Pick a Card (Memory Verse Game)

In this simple and fun game instructions for reciting or explaining a Bible verse are written on cards.  Instructions might include “Whisper the verse” or “Sing the verse” or “Explain the Verse”.  Children take turns drawing the cards and following the instructions.  As they play the game they hear and recite the verse a number of times and begin to memorise it.

Supplies

  • A chosen verse from the Bible
  • Paper on which to write the verse
  • Thick or heavier paper cut to the size of cards that children can easily hold in their hands.  Index cards work well if you have them.
  • Pen or markers

Preparation

  1. Choose a verse from the Bible.  Note: The verse used in the video example above was Philippians 4:4
  2. Use an easy-to-read version of the Bible for the memory verse.  Try these or others that the children can understand:
  3. Write the verse on the paper so children can read it together with you.  Alternatively you can read the verse aloud from the Bible or write it on a chalkboard.
  4. Write various instructions on the smaller cards.  Each card should contain only one instruction.  Make sure the writing is large and clear enough for the children to easily read. When writing instructions, think of what the children you are teaching might find enjoyable.  Here are some suggestions:
    • Read the verse from the Bible.
    • Explain the verse.
    • Choose someone else to say the verse.
    • Say the verse with your eyes closed.
    • Ask the teacher to say the verse from memory.
    • Whisper the verse.
    • Sing the verse.
    • Act out the verse but make no sound.
    • Say the verse while dancing.
    • Sing the verse in an opera voice.
    • Say the verse in a deep man’s voice.
    • Say the verse in a baby voice.

How to Play the Game:

  1. Read the memory verse together from the Bible.
  2. Explain and talk about what the verse means.  Define any words that are unfamiliar.
  3. Mix the cards up and lay them on the table in a small stack in front of the children.  Alternatively, hold the cards in your hands so the children can select a card from your hand.
  4. The first child chooses a card and performs the action written on the card.
  5. The children take turns drawing cards and performing the action.

Adaptations

  • Learn As You Go: For older children make the game more challenging.  Have a bible available and tell the children that they may open the Bible and read the verse one time between each turn.  Open the game by only giving the Scripture reference (for example Philippians 4:4).  The first child will obviously have to open the Bible and read the verse to do the action on the card.  The second child will most likely have to do the same.  As the game goes on the children will need to refer to the Bible less and less between turns because they are learning the verse.
  • Make My Own: Help the children find the verse in the Bible and then guide them in making the action cards for the game.  Children think of great actions for this game so prepare to be challenged.
  • Large Groups: Divide the group into teams so that the teams have to perform the actions.  Each team member should participate.
  • Large Spaces: If you have a lot of space like a gym or playground adapt the actions for the space.  For example:
    • Run and touch the fence and then say the verse.
    • Shout the verse.
    • Bounce a ball while saying the verse.
    • Say the verse while using a hoola-hoop.