Motivating Your Team

“It is hard to motivate quizzers to study when the quizzers have so many other activities going on. I felt entirely lost for years and struggled to push my team to study without pushing them away from Bible Quiz.

I’m from a large Christian school in the Los Angeles, CA area (total enrollment K2–12th over 1200). I have quizzers in a competitive marching band, football, volleyball, basketball, drama, chess, and part-time jobs. Some quizzers are taking at least two rigorous, college-level, dual-enrollment courses that eat a lot of their study time.

While I haven’t been able to motivate every quizzer, some quizzers have responded to the following:

-Posting sticker charts for each verse they have memorized with a big sticker when they can say the entire chapter to the coach or a parent at one sitting. I post these charts in my classroom where all of the junior high and a dozen of senior high have classes.

-Fun-sized candy, small packages of fruit chews, or freeze-dried mango slices for every 3 verses memorized.

-One king-sized candy bar, one large movie box of candy, vending-size package of cookies, or 4 packages of fruit chews for every chapter recited to the coach or a parent.

-A $25 gift card to store/restaurant of their choice for memorizing each half of the passage. (When we are doing the epistles, it’s for each epistle or a group of the smaller ones, like the Johns and Jude)

-Memorizing alongside them and quizzing against them in practice. (if the ancient and decrepit coach can beat them, they aren’t working hard enough.) If they beat me in a quiz practice, they earn bonus points for class. Also, they will earn bonus points for quizzing out.

-Also, our junior and senior high students take Bible Quiz in place of their grade-level Bible class. That allows me to require an activity log to be completed each week for points. I require a minimum of 14 verses per week, 3 chapters reviewed daily (once they know 3 chapters), 10 minutes of Quizlet work, attendance at practices or additional Quizlet work, daily devotions, and bonus points for church/Sunday school/youth group attendance and ministry service.

-At practices we also play a version of Chair Volleyball with an inflatable 20” beach ball in the practice room for a warm up. When a player causes the other team to get a point, they have to recite a verse from the chapter they are currently learning while the ball is in play. (My quizzers love this game, and the reciting of a verse while a beach ball is coming at your face can mimic the stress of a blanking out when you are answering during a big tournament.)

-During January, we hold a Bible Quiz camp for an entire day where we quiz a lot and work certain types of questions and reviewing keywords for referencing.
We also hold practices twice a week after school and once a week during class. If a student can’t attend to a practice, they have to complete an additional 20 minutes of Quizlet work for each practice missed.

What is Quizlet? It is a free flashcard app that is available via a web browser and also iOS and Android app. (There is also a subscription version with more features.) If you are using your computer, you can type in to see all of the material I have uploaded for Bible Quiz.

Materials I have on Quizlet:

-QTV—Quote the verse – great for writing and checking if you are word-perfect or for playing Match to work on referencing

-FTV—Finish the verse—gives the first five words of a verse. You can use flashcards or write modules to test your knowledge.

-Reference Questions—“according to” questions that I have written or curated over the last 10 years. Some have been vetted and are almost flawless. Others have errors or are worded weirdly. (We have a Fine Arts competition that is not affiliated with AACS that has some really weird questions.)

-Paraphrased Questions—“in the chapter” questions. The ones that are vetted should have at least one duplicate word or one unique word in them (per SoCal Bible Quizzing League guidelines—different from AACS). The unvetted questions may or may not have uniques or duplicates in the questions. They may also have unusual wording.

-Uniques—unique words for each chapter with their references. Match is great for working on these.

We also had to come up with some different methods for review.

-Since most of my students have at least a 15-minute commute, they review and memorize during the commute.

-For girls, I encourage them to post their verses on a sheet paper next to their mirror where they are getting ready in the morning. They can memorize a lot while blow drying their hair.

-One student put her verses in a gallon Ziplock bag and taped it to the shower wall.

-Another student wrote her verses on her mirror with a dry-erase marker to learn while getting ready.

-They also ask each other questions or review chapters as they transition from one class to another (we have a large campus).

-Junior High Bible Quiz is during Senior High Lunch. My senior high football players come to Junior High Bible Quiz and eat their lunches there while they review and memorize in relative quiet compared to the lunch area.

Memorizing quickly and referencing:

-They chunk the material by phrase when we memorize.

-They must recite the entire chapter they have memorized thus far before learning the next verse, every single time they memorize a new verse (my elite quizzers may do it every 4 verses).

-We have a new referencing technique by which I paste the verses into a 4×3 grid with 12 verses on the page. Every single chapter, verse 7 will be on Row 2, Column 3. This method really helps with these super long chapters in the gospels and Acts.

-For referencing, they try to beat me in Quizlet on QTV Match for each chapter.

I realize that every team has its unique challenges, but hope some of these tips can help you all.”


ACTIVITY LOG–14 verses per week


The above was contributed by Miss Allison Castner.