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
- Psalm 118:105
- Matt 18:20
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.
- Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson found in A Child's Garden of Verses
- Pirate Story by Robert Louis Stevenson found in A Child's Garden of Verses (I wouldn't have chosen another Stevenson poem so soon; First Son requested it.)
- Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field found in Poetry By Heart
- Daddy Fell Into the Pond by Alfred Noyes found in Favorite Poems Old and New (Oh, how the children love this poem! They laugh and laugh.)
- Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti found in Favorite Poems Old and New
- The Woodpecker by Elizabeth Madox Roberts found in Favorite Poems Old and New
- Dragonfly by Florence Page-Jaques found in Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young (First Son selected this poem as well, mainly for its length or lack thereof.)
- Daffodowndilly by A. A. Milne found in When We Were Very Young
- Open Range by Kathryn and Bryon Jackson found in Favorite Poems Old and New (First Son didn't quite have this poem memorized at the end of the year, so we'll start with it again in the fall.)
- Singing Time by Rose Fyleman which I think I found in Poems and Prayers for the Very Young (See a video of her performing it.)
- Flowers at Night by Aileen Fisher found in Tomie dePaola's Book of Poems (still in progress)
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 PaperBackSwap.com.
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)
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.