Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marking Scriptures

One of the best ways to engage children in the scripture study process is to have them mark the scriptures you read as a family. And using a color coded system helps to encourage scripture reading comprehension. Here's how to do it:

First, make sure each family member has their own set of scriptures. I give my kids the inexpensive paperback ones to use until they turn eight.

Second, buy several sets of good scripture markers to share. Test them to make sure they do not bleed through the page. I prefer colored pencils for this very reason. They also seem to last longer than markers do.

Third, make a poster or chart of your color coding system to have available during family study time. Rachel Woods, on About.com, offers the following list for color coding--but be sure to base your code to the number of colors in your marking set. It is also helpful to make the chart in color for those young ones who do not read yet.
  1. Red = Heavenly Father, Christ
  2. Peach = Holy Ghost
  3. Orange = Charity, Services
  4. Light Yellow = Faith, Hope
  5. Dark Yellow = Repentance
  6. Gold = Creation, Fall
  7. Pink = Righteousness of People
  8. Light Green = Salvation, Eternal Life
  9. Dark Green = Prophecies yet to be fulfilled
  10. Light Blue = Prayer
  11. Dark Blue = Wickedness of People/Evil Works
  12. Purple = Prophecies already fulfilled
  13. Brown = Baptism
Fourth, start your reading plan. Remember that comprehension is more important than the number of verses covered. For this reason we stick to just a few verses at a time. After reading your selection, ask family members what topics were covered in the verses (and which colors will need to be used). Discuss the meaning and importance of the verses, then mark according to the color code chart. Try to share your testimony of the topic as often as possible with your family.

You may want to give marking strategies to family members as well. For example, underlining, coloring in the whole verse, or simply coloring only the verse number are three strategies that can be used. My kids preferred to do it their own way. And since I wanted to make scripture study a happy, positive moment, I chose not to give them rules or remark negatively on their strategies.

Happy marking!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 17:2

Note: some adults use the same color coding system by using sticker dots folded over the edges of pages. This aids in finding scriptures by topic at a later date.


  1. This is a fabulous idea! I never thought about using diff colors for diff subjects. Thanks!

  2. These are great ideas. Can't wait for my boys to be "readers" so we can do more of this.

  3. WHere did you order your markers that you have a gold one? Is is metallic?


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