First Quarter 2021 Memory Verse Activities∞

Lesson 1, January 2, 2021

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Therefore by [Jesus] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Before class place each word of the power text inside a balloon, blow up the balloon, and tie it off. Make sure you have enough balloons for each student to pop at least one!

Write the power text on the white board, and then instruct the students they are to find a balloon, pop it, retrieve the word, and then line themselves up in the order of the words of the verse. After the students are lined up, recite the verse together two or three times and say: “Praising God is like a party or celebration with balloons: we praise Him because of how wonderfully He made us.”

Lesson 2, January 9, 2021

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Display the power texts in the room. Have the students squat low on the floor, rising a little as they recite each word of the power texts until they are completely standing. Repeat the activity, removing/erasing the verses as the students recite them from memory.

Lesson 3, January 16, 2021

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Display the power text in the classroom.

Before class write each student’s name on a note card/piece of paper and attach on the wall around the room. Cover each student’s name with a red paper that says EVIL. Give each student a piece of white paper and ask them to write the word GOOD on it. Let each student take turns choosing one of the red papers, remove it from the name, and place it to the side, discovering the student identified behind the paper. The class then repeats, “(Name of student whose name was uncovered) do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” The student whose name has been exposed brings his white “good” paper and covers the word “evil,” as the class cheers. That student then chooses another red paper, reveals the next name and the activity continues until all names have been revealed.

Lesson 4, January 23, 2021

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:36-38).

Write the words of the power text on individual note cards, two or three words per card. Provide one set of cards for each group of two or three students. Pair them and give each a Bible and text to find the power text. Instruct the students to compete to see who can assemble the word cards in the least amount of time. Repeat the activity several times for students to learn the verse by memory.

Lesson 5, January 30, 2021

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).

You will need a picture/felt of Jesus attached to the words of the power text. Take turns blindfolding students or having them cover their eyes. Each time a student is blindfolded, place the picture/felt of Jesus in a different location. Spin the student around a few times, and remove the blindfold, asking the student to quickly find Jesus. As the student locates and points out the picture, the class should quickly say: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Repeat with each student.

Lesson 6, February 6, 2021

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For, ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Romans 10:12, 13).

Ask students to think about and name some differences among people that often lead to conflict and discrimination (i.e., culture, ethnicity, gender differences).

Divide students into two groups based on their gender. Have boys sit on one side of the class and girls on the other side of the class. As the students say the power text together, have the boys stand when the class says the word “Jew,” and then sit down. Have the girls stand when the class says the word “Greek,” and then sit down. Have all students stand while saying the last sentence together: “For, ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

Repeat the activity with the girls standing when the class says “Jew,” and the boys standing when the class says “Greek.” On the last sentence of the power text they will all stand as before.

Lesson 7, February 13, 2021

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Before class write the power text in a visible place where everyone can read it. Place three signs around your room that read: In Heaven, On Earth, Under the Earth.

Divide your class into three groups. Each group of students should stand near one of the signs. As you speak the word “Jesus,” the entire room repeats: “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,. . . .” The first group kneels and says, “of those in heaven,” and the second group then kneels and says “and of those on earth.” The third group repeats together “and of those under the earth.” While they are kneeling all the groups repeat together, “and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Repeat several times until the class can recite the words from memory.

Close by saying:

When Jesus returns for us, it will be a wonderful sight to see everyone, everywhere bow and worship Him!

Lesson 8, February 20, 2021

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5).

Before class, place 490 coins or beans into a jar or container. Write the power text on the outside of the container. Have a small gift for the student who gets the closest to the actual number of items in the jar. Explain to the students that there is a prize to be awarded to the student who guesses correctly. Ask the students to guess how many there are in the jar. As each student writes his guess on the white board or piece of paper, have the class recite the power text. When everyone has recorded a guess, reveal the number of 490. Reward the winner and ask, “What do you think this number has to do with our lesson today?” If they do not know, tell them to listen closely to the lesson to discover the answer!

Lesson 9, February 27, 2021

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:16, 19).

Provide a large blanket, sheet or comforter, and invite the students to “trust fall” into the blanket as the other students hold the edges. As each student takes a turn, lead the class in repeating the power text. Continue until each student has a turn. Close by reminding the student that we can only really love others after we have experienced the love of God for ourselves.

Lesson 10, March 6, 2021

“Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matthew 21:9).

Before class provide green construction paper, scissors, glue, and a copy of the power text. Ask the kids to make their own palm branches, and either write the power text on their branches or glue the copy onto their branches.

Ask for a volunteer to be Jesus. Line your students up in “parade” fashion, with some walking before Jesus and some following him. Parade around the room or up and down the hallway, waving branches and repeating the power text in unison.

Close with: Can you imagine being at that parade, over 2000 years ago, as people praised, sang about, and worshipped their Savior together?

Lesson 11, March 13, 2021

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Write the power text in a prominent place.

Bring in a picture of a grape vine and branches with grapes. Also show a picture of a branch and shriveled grapes that has been severed from the vine. (These pictures are easy to find on Google Images or Photo Bucket. Just put in your key words and search through the images until you find one to add either to a PowerPoint presentation or one that you can print and display in class.)

Share the picture with your students, describing the “healthy” fruit-producing vineyard vs. the detached and shriveling branch.

Ask: Why are there no plump, juicy grapes on this branch? What’s the difference between this branch (the connected one) and this shriveled one? Ask the class to read the power text aloud with you.

Ask: Who is the vine? Why? Who is the branch? How do you know? What is the fruit? What is the promise in this verse for each of us today?

Ask each student to write a personalized version of the verse. For example, “Jesus is the vine, Jackie is the branch. If Jackie remains in Jesus and Jesus in Jackie, she will bear much fruit; for without Jesus, Jackie can do nothing!”

Close by asking each student to partner with another and read their verse out loud, with their own names.

Lesson 12, March 20, 2021

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12, 13).

Write each word of the power text on a piece of heart-shaped paper or sticky note. Hide the hearts around in the room. Ask students to search for the hearts and then arrange them in proper order as they attach them to a bulletin board or white board. If they get “stuck,” provide a Bible and the reference to help organize the hearts in correct order.

After the hearts are assembled, repeat the text several times, each time removing two or three hearts until all the hearts are removed and the students can recite the text from memory.

Lesson 13, March 27, 2021

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8).

Display the power text in the classroom. In advance write the following in large letters, on separate pieces of paper:

1. Be of one mind
2. Having compassion for one another
3. Love as brothers
4. Be tenderhearted
5. Be courteous

Place the papers in obvious places around the room and invite the students to gather them, one at a time, in order of their number. As each student takes their turn the class repeats the verse as follows:

Finally, ______(name)____ be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.” The student then scrambles the words, puts them around the room and the activity is repeated for each child to take a turn.

Close by asking: What difference might we make in our world if we always tried to have these traits?