Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Why Use Prewriting Tracing Lines?

There are many steps to learning to write.  The need for fine motor development of the hand muscles, proper grip of writing utensils, a general idea of how writing from top to bottom, left to right.  Many times children are given a pencil and expected to just know what they are doing, or to be able to easily trace or copy.  This just is not true.  Being taught how to write is just like teaching one how to ride a bike.  None one is able to hope on a bike and just go, they have to learn to balance and petal in order to even start riding, just like a child needs to develop their hand muscles before they can even begin to properly form letters.  

One way you can show yourself how difficult handwriting can be is to try and write something using your foot.  This was an exercise I was given at a teacher training I did my very first year.  We were told to try and write our names with our feet.  By doing so, we were to understand what it feels like for a child to try learning to write with their hands.  They are wobbly, don't always have the best grip and the letters just don't look right in the end.  With practice, and further hand development they will get there!  Once they have their fine motor muscles build up they can work with beginning writing.  That is where I introduce prewriting lines.

What Are Prewriting Lines?
You might be wondering what are prewriting lines and how are prewriting lines beneficial to a child learning to write.  Prewriting lines are lines that students can trace to practice common handwriting patterns.  Tracing can be done with writing utensils or their finger.   By practicing the line patterns over and over, students create a muscle memory of forming lines that will later be beneficial when learning to form letters in both print and cursive.

How Can I Use Prewriting Lines?
I would recommend laminating tracing pages or placing them inside page protectors to create a write and wipe activity.  You can also place the pages inside a binder for easy storage or a quick to put together writing center.   Prewriting line cards make a great writing center activity, fine motor center activity, morning tub or morning basket activity, as well as a small group activity.  

The prewriting lines pictured are from an alphabet animal tracing line packet.  Students will trace the lines from the capital letter to the lowercase letter.  Students get practice with letter recognition and line tracing with these pages.  The fun animal theme also allows students to see an animal that begins with each respective letter.


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