Welcome back to the The Pen Pal Project – our summer program that makes handwriting for kids FUN! This week, we’re going to focus on alignment – keeping those letters on the writing lines! – and we have more great printable writing prompts for your kiddos!
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This week, kids will get to write about: what they like to do when it’s hot outside!
–Week 6 Writing Prompt Handwriting Page for older kids who are ready to write on their own.
–Week 6 Fill in the Blank Page for little ones who need a little guidance and a shorter writing activity.
Have you ever seen kids who write with what I call roller coaster letters? The baseline of their letters and words seems to go up and down within the writing lines, like the hills of a roller coaster! Or maybe they start off writing on the line and then their letters start falling down below the baseline.
These kids are struggling with alignment. They’re not yet able to consistently use the bottom handwriting line as the “home base” or baseline for each of their letters. Here are some ideas to help:
-Before you start writing, spend some time teaching kids the concepts of top, middle, and bottom. Play movement games where kids have to jump, reach, and bend to show top, middle, and bottom. Have them place toys or objects on the top, middle, or bottom shelf on a bookshelf. Then, work on generalizing these concepts onto the handwriting paper, by identifying the top, middle, and bottom writing lines.
-Take some of the child’s writing samples from the classroom or in a journal and review it with him. Using a highlighter, trace the baseline of his letters, following along the bottom of each one. It might look like the little hills of a roller coaster or your baseline might fall down below the bottom line. Talk about how it looks and how writing is easier to read if the baseline is smooth and flat.
-After completing the above exercise several times, use a highlighter to highlight the bottom handwriting line on his blank paper before he writes to show him where his baseline should be.
-Try handwriting paper with raised lines – this works both for promoting proper sizing and alignment!
-Try sticking Wikki Stix to the baseline of the handwriting paper to give kids a tactile cue to bump into with their pencils. This can get a little tricky when kids need to write the “tail letters”, but it’s great for practicing the tall and short letters.
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One of the most common skills that kids tends to suffer over the summer? Handwriting. Kids can have difficulty with many aspects of this important skill, including letter formation, hand strength, maintaining spacing and sizing, and keeping their writing on the lines. In any case, practice makes perfect – and kids just don’t get a lot of practice with handwriting during the summer.
So this summer, we’re excited to bring you The Pen Pal Project! The goal of this project is to encourage kids to keep writing all summer long but to have fun while they’re doing it!
Each week, we’ll provide printable writing prompts for kids that will be adapted for different ages (one with blank writing lines and one that’s fill-in-the-blank style). Encourage kids to complete the writing activity and then color in the pictures on the writing prompt to send to their friend!
You’ll be able to find all of the writing prompts here as the summer goes on (we’ll post a new one each week).