Find it difficult to squeeze in formal and/or informal handwriting practice/instruction?  Me, too!  I've successfully used the following Handwriting activities in 1 on 1, small group, and whole group situations.  They are suitable for independent student work times as well.

A Tune to Remember Ruled Printing Practice
Feel the Letter Handwriting Sheets
Online Practice Tools of the Trade
Handwriting Assessment You're on a Roll
Letter Formation Verbal Path Prompts   Letter Sort 

















A Tune to Remember

Handwriting Song

Always start your letters at the top.

Always start your letters at the top.

When you write a letter,

you'll get better, better, better, 

if you always start your letters at the top!

TUNE:  "If You're Happy and you Know It"   


Letter Sort

Sort Letters by Feature

This is a SMARTboard file:  (zip file)      (dropbox)     (file dropper) 

Students drag the letters from the bottom of the page to the appropriate column.  Letters are characterized by whether they are lowercase and tall, lowercase and short, or lowercase and diggers.  Feel free to customize the file to meet your needs.  I do NOT have the file for DNealiean.  Sorry.  Also, if you do not have the font that I used, here it is:  ABC Print.

Feel the Letter

Textured Letter books

literacy.apple.tactile.page.jpg (21148 bytes)  literacy.watering.can.tactile.page.jpg (22093 bytes)  literacy.moon.tactile.page.jpg (20153 bytes)

I create letter booklets by binding together letters created with an outline font into book format.  We then cover the letter with punches made from craft paper punches, leaving finger spaces between each punch.  Gel glue works best for this.  We only do one page per day.  Once the book is complete, students run their hands across the letters to form the letters - - the letters give fingertips a neat sensation!

Letter Book Template:

Paper Punch List: 

Wikki Stix Letters

Students use Wikki Stix to form upper and lowercase letters and then write the letter in their response logs or on a sheet.

Gel Pack Letter Tracing


I made these gel pouches with my FoodSaver machine and hair gel. 

Gel Pouch Letters:  Aa - Ff     Gg - Ll     Mm - Rr     Ss - Xx      Yy & Zz


Handwriting Assessments

Handwriting Assessments

Mary Had a Little Frog

Every once in awhile, I'd like to give my students a poem or paragraph to copy using their best handwriting.  These handwriting assessments were completed using a pencil.  My students actually enjoyed this activity.  

Here is a Little Turtle


ABC Letter Poems

40 Letters Per Minute

An online teacher colleague shared this idea.  She has her students complete a handwriting timed test every day.  The goal is for students to recall and write 40 letters per minute.  She starts with uppercase and then moves to lowercase.  For further information visit Nellie's Edge: http://www.nellieedge.com/articles_resources/ABC_fluency.htm.


Online Practice

Online Interactive Handwriting Tutorial and Guide

Watch as each letter of the alphabet is formed or use the "magic" pencil to form letters, words, or sentences.  Very cool!

Ruled Printing Practice

SMARTboard Practice


(D'Nealian)    (D'Nealian) 

Once you open the file, just change the letters to ones you'd like your class/student to practice.  Students select and drag the letter to the ruled line and use the SMARTboard stylus to practice writing letters.  You will obviously need the DNealian font installed on your computer in order for the file to work.  You will also need the SmartNotebook software to view/use these files.  It is free to download from Smarttech:  http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Support/SBS/

Name Tickets

IMG_4480 (Small).jpg (27927 bytes)

We call these "name tickets" and students write one each morning.  They are both sentence strips that have been laminated.  One is the "model" that students use as a reference and mentor; the other is laminated and used over and over every day.  It can be erased if students need to "try again".  

Sky to Ground Sentence Strips

Handwriting House Guides

Download the document, print a class set, laminate, and then use for handwriting instruction.  Each student would need one handwriting house guide.  Use wipe off crayons and tissues for an easy, scent-free experience!  I used these before I purchased the "Ground to Sky" materials from Frog Street Press.


Sentence Strip Word Bank Flip Books

IMG_1768 (Small).jpg (52421 bytes) IMG_1769 (Small).jpg (41841 bytes)

Lakeshore Flip Books:  thematic    word families    alphabet    phonics

Frog Street Press "Sky to Ground" Handwriting Resources/Tools

IMG_4241 (Small).jpg (37797 bytes) IMG_4243 (Small).jpg (45065 bytes) IMG_4247 (Small).jpg (34864 bytes) IMG_4246 (Small).jpg (35592 bytes) IMG_4263 (Small).jpg (44897 bytes)

These very colorful guides (below) help students with letter shape and size.  I purchased the "Smart Start" K-1 Writing Paper, "Smart Start" Sentence Strips, "Smart Start" Teacher Chart, 4 "Smart Start" Super Slates, and then made a class set of corresponding tactile, felt handwriting guides for students to use with their finger tips when we practice handwriting as a class.  I laminated a class set of the writing paper and a class set of the sentence strips for wipe and write handwriting lessons.  

Frog Street Press

Verbal Letter Prompts

We transitioned from D'Nealian to Traditional Manuscript this year (2010-2011).  Our school is using Fonts for Teachers from this site:   Ask for Ramn.  He's fantastic to work with, and even changed the path/arrows to match our verbal path prompts!




Handwriting Sheets

2010 Meacham Traditional Manuscript Practice Sheets with Verbal Letter Formation Prompts

(g j p q y) (h b d t k l f) (r n m  c o a e) (z u v w s i x)


Starfall Printable Handwriting Sheets/Book

Handwriting practice in "block print" or "manuscript" available.  For free!    

ABC Printouts from Starfall

Handwriting Booklet


A 52 page handwriting download.  Each letter features a double-page spread.  Copy the pages back to back so that each letter is on a double page spread (you'll have to create a title page so that it allows the "Aa" pages to be on adjacent pages.  I bind mine for durability an ease when turning pages.  On the first page, students use a thick marker to trace the large outline letters.  They then use paper punchers and glue on punches that begin with focus letter.  In the next box, students find and object that begins with the focus letter.  They glue the object to the empty space and write the object's name on the line.  Objects may be found in magazines, stickers, clip art, etc.  The class then reads the poem, and highlights all the upper and lower case letters for the focus letter.  Finally, on page one, students use their best writing and trace letters and write letters to complete the line of focus letters.  On page two, students continue tracing and writing upper and lower case letters.  At the bottom of the page, the class words together to identify words that contain the focus letter (begins with, ends with, or contains) - don't forget classmate names, months, and days of the week in this section! 

     - DNealian

     - Zaner Bloser

Handwriting Pages

From the Learning Page.  These can either be sent home as extra practice pages or laminated and put into the Handwriting Literacy Corner [center].  I printed, laminated, and then filed them in hanging files.

  IMG_3082 (Small).jpg (49909 bytes)




  Lesson plans and worksheets from learningpage.com via kwout

Sentence Practice


Handwriting practice that also incorporates high frequency words!  Visit The Little Giraffes web site for downloads! 


Tools of the Trade

Random Letters and Numbers Practice Tools

Gel Board MagnaDoodle Dry Erase Board Water Wizard Glow Board


Paddle Erase Boards Aquadoodle Mat Dollar Tree Cards Print-A-Word Cards Dollar Tree Books


Flour Sugar Salt Shaving Cream  


Roll It!

Playdough Letters


Clay and Clay Letter Work Mats: