Friday, July 20, 2012

Second Grade Memory Work: Bible Verses and Poetry

After morning prayers, we pull out the memory book. (Now we have two, as First Daughter was so disruptive during First Son's memory work, I invited her to begin her own at the end of March. She was thrilled and slightly less bothersome when First Son recited.) Here's a record of First Son's memory work for second grade.

Bible Verses

All of our Bible verses are from the NRSV. I went through and copied many I liked onto index cards (which are stored separately from the binder linked above). We had plenty left from the ones I coped before first grade from which to choose.
  • John 15:10
  • Gen 1:1-2
  • Phil 4:13
  • 1 John 1:8-9
  • Matthew 18:21-22
  • John 15:16
  • Joshua 1:9
  • Phil 2:3-4
  • Hebrews 11:6
For those wondering, First Daughter's Bible verses were:
  • Psalm 118:105
  • Matt 18:20
After the first one, I realized I should arrange the order differently than First Son learned them in kindergarten so they will not be reciting the same verses on the same days when the verses are moved back to the once-a-month category. You can find a list of the Bible verses First Son memorized in kindergarten here. First Son's first grade memory verses are here.


We begin by reading the poem aloud each day. As First Son becomes more familiar, I ask him to fill in words and phrases until he's ready to attempt the entire poem on his own.
First Daughter started at the end of March:
First Son's first grade poetry is listed in this post. I read poetry in kindergarten with him, but we didn't try to memorize any. We still read poetry together at least once a week (everyone listens!) but I consider that separate from our memory work.

Whenever I see a poem I think might be a good one to memorize, I add it to a Word document (one poem per page). Once a year, I print it out (and will do so twice now that we have two binders) and put it at the back of the memory binder. As the child masters a poem, I select one from my options based on the child's interests and the time of year. I have pulled poems from a great many books of poetry and the one I would most highly recommend for young children who want to memorize a poem or two is Poems and Prayers for the Very Young. This little book alone is enough for any preschool or kindergarten poetry memory work you'd like to do. It is a shame it's out of print, but I was able to request a copy from

Other Stuff

We're always working on some other memory work, too. First Daughter finished the year learning to spell her full name. She's still working on it, but her middle and last names are hard! In second grade, First Son memorized:
  • the Act of Contrition
  • the Rite of Reconciliation
  • Dad's cell phone number
  • Mom's cell phone number
  • St. Gertrude's prayer for souls in purgatory
  • Grammy's cell phone number
  • the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12-13)
  • how to spell all the months of the year
  • an excerpt from St. Patrick's Breastplate (which has turned out to be really difficult; we worked on this the last couple months of the year and he still hasn't quite gotten it)
Catechism Questions (and Answers)
I also have room in our memory binder for catechism questions. In the past, I copied them from the Faith and Life book for the year. Next year, First Son will begin the questions from The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism (No. 1) which we'll continue using through fifth grade. First Daughter will be memorizing the questions and answers from The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism (No. 0) which she'll continue through second grade.

Our memory work would go much easier in the fall if we continued it over the summer, but we don't. We just spend the first month or so reviewing it all at the beginning of the year.

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