Level: Elementary school, 1-2 grades
Materials: Worksheets with printables of various shapes (hollow, dotted, dashed); colored markers; sheets of lined paper; pictures of animals; pictures of objects; cards with letters.
Objective: Learning new letters, achieving mastery and automation in students’ skills of writing letters.
Length: 1 class
The present lesson plan describes procedure of teaching students of first-second grade handwriting subject. During the course of this subject students must learn all letters of English alphabet, including proper letters’ formation and stroking in manuscript, achieve automation in writing letters, and gain mastery in writing words. On the current stage the students will learn some new letters, practice writing words containing both new and already known letters, and take part in activities that aim on achieving experience in handwriting and developing practice.
In the beginning let us briefly describe the content of previous lessons. During last lessons the students learnt several letters – o, a, i, c, n, m, and h using pictures and worksheets. They practiced in stroking these letters and writing the words like “mama”, “can”, “ham”, “main”, “coin”, “man” and others. Students already achieved mastery in writing these letters.
At the beginning of current lesson the teacher will spend few minutes repeating past material. Each student will be offered to write one of the letters they know and one word made up of these letters on the blackboard with colored markers.
The main part of the present lesson will be devoted to learning new letters. For this purpose the teacher chooses letters that require similar stroking either with letters learnt previously or among each other and demonstrates the students how to properly write them. In the current lesson children will learn the letters e, b, d, p, r, l and u. These letters were chosen to be learned for several reasons – the density of these letters in English words, rather simple formation, and similar stroking of some letters. The stroking of manuscript letter e is similar to letter c that children already know, the stroking of letter l is similar to i that is also familiar to students, and the stroking of u is similar to letter a. Besides, in the present lesson the teacher will also present two pairs of more complex new letters with similar stroking – p and r, and b and d. Therefore, some of new letters will be easier to learn. Hence, the order of introducing new letters should be as follows: e, l, u, b, d, p, r.
On the present part of lesson the students will practice in writing new letters. They will be given appropriate printables of different shapes for every letter. While the teacher shows how to write the letter he tells a simple verse that describes the process of stroking each letter and helps students to memorize it (for instance, for letter b – “The dog runs down the path, then follows around the park”). The teacher asks students which of familiar letters does shape of each new letter remind them. Then students are asked to reproduce the shape of letters. First they try to write using the simplest hollow printables. After several attempts the teacher asks to write letters using less simple dashed (or dotted) printables that require certain skill.
At the next stage of lesson the students are offered to choose the picture that illustrates an object among the set of object cards and the card with appropriate new letter from the set of letter cards that the word begins from. For every letter, after choosing it, students must try reproducing its formation without any help (one student at the backboard, others on paper).
On the last part of lesson children will try to write the words that contain new letters. For this purpose the teacher must choose only the words that contain letters familiar to students. On this stage the teacher shows the students pictures of animals from the set of animal cards. The teacher asks students to name the animals illustrated on each card. Then the teacher asks to name the letters that students recognize from each animal’s name. For every new letter we selected the appropriate picture of animal: e – eel, l – lion, u – unicorn, b – bull, d – dolphin, p – panda, r – raccoon. The teacher shows how to write these words on the blackboard. The students practice in writing the words using sheets of lined paper. The teacher focuses on the correct shape of letters, on uniform size of letters, the proper slant of each letter, and on correct and similar spacing between letters.
Belshaw, M. (1997). Jumbo Book of Writing Lessons. Teacher Created Resources.
Einhorn, K. (2006). Manuscript Handwriting Lessons. Teaching Resources, Bk&Acces edition.
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