Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 6, 1951
NUMBER 18, PAGE 8-9b

Talks With Teachers

Teaching Memory Work

Marian White, 4667 - 12Th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, Florida

The word of God is to be planted in the hearts of men. The teaching of memory work is one way to put it there and the best way to keep it there. Even the very small child can memorize; and, as he grows older, he will find he has acquired a rich supply of faith and a ready fund of scriptures for use in teaching the Bible and in answering questions about the Bible. The truth and the beauty of the scriptures will become a part of his life.

Rules For Memorizing Bible Passages 1. Learn a complete thought. Memorizing only half of the great commission would be a waste of time.

2. Learn each passage accurately. God's word must never be misquoted.

3. Learn the book, chapter and verse (or verses) for each passage. An unlocated passage is ineffective.

4. Learn the background of a passage. Who said it, to whom, and under what circumstances?

Selection Of Memory Work

Memory work should be chosen with a purpose. It may be a tie-in with a lesson or it may be the teaching of a definite idea such as the suggested list below.

1. Names of the books of the Bible.

2. The beatitudes.

3. The twelve apostles.

4. The great commission.

5. References for acts of obedience.

6. Nine New Testament references to singing.

7. The "ones" in Ephesians 4.

8. The seven graces - 2 Peter 1:5-11.

9. References for acts of worship.

The amount of memory work assigned depends upon the work to be stressed and upon the group doing the memorizing. Some students have learned the sermon on the mount and the sermons recorded in Acts in their entirety.

Those who have a hard time memorizing should concentrate on locating subjects by chapters such as the Ten Commandments being found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

Methods Of Memorizing

We learn by hearing or by seeing. The small child learns by repetition. The visual method makes the strongest impression. The older child combines observation and association of ideas with repetition.

The teacher should go over with the class all memory work assigned. She should pronounce the proper words and the difficult words and explain their meaning. Then she should point out any association of words or ideas that would facilitate the memorizing.

For example, she might want to teach the list of twelve apostles. The list in Matthew is the easiest to learn but she puts all four lists of the apostles on the board. Then she points out whose name is first in each list, whose name is fifth and whose name is last (except in the list in the Acts). She has thus divided the twelve names into three groups of four names and the class has probably already learned the position of the three names she has pointed out. Last of all she assigns the list in Matthew. Thus the class learns both by seeing and hearing.

The teacher should urge the students to memorize each passage as a whole rather than verse by verse.

Memory Aids

1. Memorizing Maps Take Palestine, for example. Study the map with the class a few minutes. Point out that Palestine can be drawn with two lines—a slanting line for the coastline, and a vertical line that resembles a string of beads. Each bead is a body of water. Then point out that the Sea of Galilee and Mt. Caramel are opposite each other. Have the class study the map and then close their Bibles and draw it from memory. Then let them compare their drawings with the model maps, correct their mistakes and draw a second map from memory this time labeling the bodies of water.

If the class is studying the New Testament, they should put in the boundaries for the three divisions of Palestine.

2. Flash Cards

These are 4" x 6" white cards on each of which the teacher prints a number that occurs more than once in the Bible. When she flashes a number, the class relates it to the Bible. For example, the number 12 can refer to the 12 spies, the 12 tribes, the 12 apostles, etc.

This drill can be applied to persons, places and things also.

3. Key Words

Often times the subject of an entire book can be learned by memorizing a key word that covers the main event in each chapter. Here are two examples:

a. Mark (16 words for 16 chapters)

Beginning, palsy, apostle, 4 parables, legion, 5,000, Phariseeism, 4,000, transfiguration, divorce, money changers, prophecy, betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection.

b. Jonah (word for each letter of title) Let children figure out similar ones for other books.

J—ourney 0—verboard N—inevah A—shes H—armony A set of key statements one for each chapter of Jonah can also be used:

Chapter 1. The man who ran away from God.

Chapter 2. The man who ran to God.

Chapter 3. The man who ran with God.

Chapter 4. The man who ran ahead of God.

4. Charts a. These are visual aids. Divide a blackboard into three divisions to represent the three ages of Bible history. Have the class list the outstanding people in each age. Then erase the names and let the class fill in the lists again. This drill should be repeated from week to week until each student can automatically complete the chart. Then the names should be replaced by events, places, etc.

b. Let the children make a chart on the five steps of obedience giving two references for each step.

5. Word Associations People with the same names (King Saul—Saul, the apostle), people with the same occupation, events that happened at the same place, words that rhyme—these are just a few that can be taught by association.

Reviewing Memory Work

This should be a regular feature of the class period. It can be done in unison or individually.

Verses can be reviewed by calling out an important word in a verse and letting the class complete the verse. Next Month: WAYS TO INCREASE CLASS INTEREST