At Teach One Reach One Ministries, we regularly discourage the use of worksheets in Bible classes. One of the reasons is that they serve little educational value for our purposes. Another reason is that many young people struggle with reading and writing. Asking them to do either in a Bible class can negatively impact them in several key ways.
There is a caveat to our advice, though. Studies show that students remember something they have read better when they rewrite it rather than rereading it. If we want our Bible students to remember key scriptures better, we need to find engaging ways to have them write those key verses.
Thankfully, copying scripture is not difficult for even many children who struggle with reading and writing. The question is how to make copying scriptures engaging enough that it helps them remember the scriptures without boring them in the process. There are actually several fun ways to incorporate copying scriptures into your Bible class activities.
- Scripture art. There are a lot of beautiful ways to display scripture that are easy enough for all but the very youngest of children to create. If the finished piece of art is attractive enough, it is more likely to be displayed for a period of time in their homes. This will give them additional exposure to the scripture.
- Copying a verse onto completed arts and crafts projects. Did your students make an art or craft project as an activity? Is there a key verse from the lesson they can copy onto their finished project?
- Window crayons, sand and other unique art supplies. There are markers and crayons meant for temporary writing on windows. What kid wouldn’t enjoy writing a scripture on a window? Or etching it in a pile of sand? Or writing with a feather that has been dipped in “ink” (black tempera paint is your friend!) like scribes? Allowing kids to experiment with novel art supplies while writing scripture will make it more fun.
- Student created games. Have your students create Bible games for others to play. Encourage them to incorporate a few verses of scripture as part of the game.
- Student created books for younger children. Have students create scripture picture books for younger children.
- Bible journaling. Older kids and teens might enjoy Bible journaling. The artistic entries require copying a part of a verse as an element of the art work.
Old fashioned copy work of scripture won’t work well with most young people. It’s also important to remember that typing the words does not have the same impact as writing them. Finding fun ways to have students copy scriptures by hand can help move those verses to long term memory, where they will be available to help your Bible students for the rest of their lives. It’s worth taking the time and effort to find engaging ways to encourage students to write out some key scriptures.