Bible Verse Routines

I often get asked how I get my preschoolers to learn their Bible verses during our Bible units.  Can 3 and 4 year olds really learn Bible verses and remember them?

YES!  Of course they can!  And it's so important that we teach them early that hiding God's word in our hearts helps us make good choices and shine our lights for Jesus!

If you follow this blog, you've already read about my schedule for preschool Sunday School.  Our Bible verse time is the last 5 minutes our our morning!  Here's a look at those 5 minutes of powerful Bible verse learning! :)

Read the Verse with Motions

Yes, I'm aware that most preschoolers cannot read.  But a few do read early.  And the majority who can't will only learn through exposure to print and words.  I set up our Bible verse white cards in our pocket chart.

I always tell my preschoolers, "Let's read our Bible verse," as I point and we read it together.  No, most aren't reading like adults would expect them to.  They are simply saying the words as I read them.  But they FEEL like readers because I've told them that we are reading!  And they are practicing tracking print with my finger and their eyes.  They are learning to read from left to right.  And they are learning what a word and sentence looks like!

These are all HUGE skills for emerging readers.  And THAT's why we "read" the verse together.

As we are reading, I have them do motions for the verse.  They don't have to do motions for every word, but I try to have at least 3 motions for every verse.  The motions help the kids attach the verse to movement which helps them remember the verse more easily!  I have suggestions for motions for each unit verse in my Bible unit curriculum!

Match the Color Word Cards

After we read the verse once, I show one color word card at a time.  We read the word and then I give the color card to a kiddo who comes to find it's word match.  They put the color card in front of the white matching card.

This helps my emergent readers attend to print and focus on the shape of the letters and words.  For my youngest readers, I cover up all but the first word on the color card and have them look for that beginning letter to add even more support.

After each kid puts a word match in, we re-read the verse with the motions.  So, not only are we working on print features, but we are repeating the verse and committing it to memory in a fun and engaging way!

TPR Reading

Once we have all of the words matched, we read with Total Physical Response (TPR).  This is my preschoolers' favorite part!  We do some motion on each of the words.  The first one we do is, "Let's clap on each word."  Then, we say the verse and clap on each word.

This is important because it helps kids hear the difference in words and syllables and words and sentences.  It's so good for building that phonemic awareness in our littlest readers.

Depending on time, we usually do about 5-7 repetitions of this with different actions each time.  The actions we've used are....
Clap
Snap
Pat Your Leg
Touch Your Nose and Whisper
Bear Claws on the Ground and Growl
Stomp Your Feet

Independent Matching

This last part of the routine is only done on the last day of the unit.  The other weeks, we just read, match, and TPR read.  The last week, we only do independent matching.

Each kid gets a color paper with the Bible Verse on it.  We "read" it together.  I say, "Show me your reading finger," and they point and read.  No, they may not all point accurately, but they are getting a chance to independently practice moving from left to write and pointing and reading word by word.

After we read it, we go through a similar routine as the word matching in other weeks, just doing it independently!  I read the first word and they find their cut out white word card.  I cut out their words for them to save time since I only have them for 45 minutes and I don't want this to take the whole time! :)  But if you have longer, cutting would be great practice for those little guys!

Once they find the matching word, they glue it down.  Then, we move to the next word.  For older kids or kindergartners, they can easily match them on their own without needing to go word by word with teacher support!

These routines are quick, easy and an engaging and effective way to help young learners hide God's Word in their hearts!  You can find all of these routines and materials in each of my Bible Units!

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