When I first started at Timaru Christian School we, as many Christian Schools, had a weekly memory verse. As teachers we would sit together and do our term planning and brainstorm a list of hopefully 10 verses which could be used as memory verses. Fantastic, over the course of eight years each student would have an arsenal 8 x 40, 320 verses which they had 'hidden in their heart'!
Hmmm...some very diligent students learnt the verse well could not only remember the verse on testing day but some even remembered the verse for longer, weeks, months.
HOWEVER, it became very obvious that the verses simply were not being retained long term AND there was little big picture planning for the verses we thought students really needed to know. Verses about sin and Salvation were rightly or wrongly not covered in many of our unit plans, yet were verses we all wanted the students to know. To cater for this I redeveloped the Scripture Memorisation program with three essential elements of success, repetition, levelling and big picture verses, ie verses we really wanted our students to 'take' with them.
Although the programme is very prescriptive the first and last are set aside for a memory verse which is topical, ie one that relates to the current terms unit of study. There are three different levels (stages) to the memory verses, Year 1-4 = Stage 1, Year 5/6 = Stage 2 and Year 7/8 = Stage 3.
In Stage 1 and 2 students memorise a set of 18 verses each semester. This repartition enhances long term leaning and application. In Stage 3 students learn passages of 8 to 12 verses.
Have a look see if you can adjust the verses to be meaningful to your school.