In this simple activity children unscramble the words to form a verse from the Bible. The idea has been around a long time and recently a number of teachers who use this website have suggested it again.
- Scissors (if you want to cut the paper into smaller pieces)
- Choose a verse from the Bible. Note: The verse used in the example above is Hebrews 13:6, NIV which is used for the story of Gidean and the Midianites.
- Cut the paper into equal pieces of the size you desire.
- Write one individual word of the verse on each of the pieces of paper. Make sure the writing is large and clear enough for the children to easily read.
- Lay the papers out on a table, floor or any flat surface.
- Show the children the verse with all of the words put in the correct order first.
- Explain and talk about the verse and any words that are unfamiliar.
- Mix the papers up and let the children put them in order again.
- Listen Up: Ask the children to listen carefully. Open your bible and read the verse only one time aloud and then distribute the papers so the children can unscramble. If they get stuck then allow the children to use the Bible to look up the verse. (Keep it fun).
- Self Discovery: Place the scrambled words and Bible on the table and let the children try to figure out the verse before you tell them what it is. In a wordy verse like the example given the children will inevitably turn to the Bible for the answer. This is a lesson it itself! See the post “Hey, Let’s Look in the Bible!”
- Hide and Seek: Hide the words around the room and let children find them. As they unscramble the verse then they will know they still need to find missing words.
- Make My Own: Help the children find the verse in the Bible and then make their own paper puzzle to unscramble. They can take these home to share with their families.
- For younger children, early readers or mixed language classes:
- Only use part of the verse. In the example shown you might just use “The Lord is my helper.” or “I will not be afraid.”
- Combine more than one word on each paper so there are not so many words to unscramble.
- Work part of the puzzle first before the children start.
- Cut the pieces of paper so that the words will fit together like a puzzle. This gives clues as to the order of the words.
- Use a combination of pictures and words. For example, a picture of an eye for “I” or a bee for “be”. “Afraid” can be a picture of a face showing fear.
- Use an easy-to-read version of the Bible for the memory verse. Try these:
- For large groups or large spaces:
- Give each child one of the papers. Ask them to continue to hold the papers and “put themselves in order.” The final result would be children standing in a row holding the words of the verse in order.
- Have a relay race with two teams. Each team has a duplicate set of papers and a Bible. The children run the words up to a table or board. After all words are up then the relay continues with children running up in turn to switch any words around until it is right.