How to Teach Cursive

Cursive writing is something that comes quite naturally to adults who have been doing it for the majority of their lives, but lessons in cursive can be quite discouraging for a young child. Many teachers are in disagreement about whether children should be taught to write in print or cursive first. Those who advocate teaching cursive first believe that it is feels more natural for children to write in cursive, that writing habits are already set by the time it comes to teach cursive and that students resent being told to learn a new method, which makes the process more difficult. Since most schools teach children print and then cursive, these steps are for teachers who are showing children how to write in cursive after they know how to write in print.


Step 1

Distribute three-lined paper to each student. Instruct the students to position the paper in accordance with the hand they use for writing. Left-handed students should slant the paper to the right and right-handed students should slant the paper to the left.


Step 2

Show the children on the whiteboard letters that are similar in print and cursive first, such as C and A. Go through the rest of the alphabet, illustrating examples of both upper-case and lower-case cursive letters in the order of difficulty, ending with letters that are very different in cursive, like the upper case G and the lower case r. Prompt the children to try to write them along with you on scratch paper, reminding them this is just a first try.


Step 3

Remind the students that cursive writing involves continual movement of the writing utensil until individual words are completed. Show them on the board how individual letters within a word are connected. Tell them there are some exceptions to this rule and provide them first before moving on to how other letters are connected.


Step 4

Provide an example on the board or as a take-home worksheet of how each letter is written in cursive. Include the connected lines, loops and circles that bridge the gap between individual letters to create a word written in cursive. Have the students trace over the letters with their pencils.


Step 5

Demonstrate how some shorter words or letter pairings are written and connected in cursive. “To,” “go,” “no,” “yes,” and “qu” are popular combinations for beginning cursive writers.


Step 6

Give examples of short, concise, relevant sentences written in cursive. Have the students read the sentences aloud individually and as a group to give them a further understanding of how cursive is written and read.


Step 7

Instruct the students to try writing their names, the name of the school and instructor in cursive. Go around the room and examine these attempts, providing specific corrections and prompt them to try again. If they are still not successful after a few tries, show them how to do it and tell them to watch your hand movements and then the paper.


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