4th Grade - Penmanship

Write fluidly and legibly in cursive or joined italic. (penmanship)
The ability to write with clear, fluid, well-formed penmanship – either cursive or joined italic.

Sample Problems


What is penmanship? (the way or manner in which you write)


What is cursive? (letters joined continuously in words)


What does legible mean? (readable, clear, intelligible, comprehensible, understandable, etc.)


What is joined italic? (slanted, joined lettering)


When do we use handwriting? (in final drafts, publishing, in formal letters, etc.)

Learning Tips


Practice makes perfect! Find templates online to help practice writing letters in cursive both individually (e.g., a, l, m, etc.) as well as in short 3-4 letter words (e.g., lime, pen, play, red, etc.). Then increase your abilities to write more words and longer words (e.g., lovely, privileged, lackadaisical, etc.)! You can find templates for Microsoft Office online,

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/TC300001121033.aspx, or http://www.abcteach.com/handwriting_template_samples.php


Find examples of real-world handwriting. Look in the store on boxes and packaging – is everything written by computers or are there hand-printed letters too? Why do you think this is? Discuss ease of presentation – is print or handwriting or computer type easier? Does it depend on the context?


Collect signatures from as many people as possible. Ask them to print and then sign their names. Ask them how they learned how to write, and why they write the way they do (e.g., are they able to print and write in cursive? Are they left- or right-handed?). What do you notice about the different signatures?


Did you know that every pen has written the name “Johnson” before it is sold? That is because the name includes every curve that is possible to write. Look at the tips of different pens and if you can, practice writing with them (many stores, especially stationary stores, have places where you can test out the pens). Compare the different styles of writing the pens demonstrate.


Research the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. (FYI: there is a related story in the OCR 2000 anthology). Ponder this question: How has the introduction of the printing press changed writing? Over time, manuscripts have changed from being written by hand one-at-a-time to being printed in mass production.

Extra Help Problems


How are handwriting and printing different? (handwriting is cursive or slanted, connected text while printing is straight, separate characters)


What is a manuscript? (an often handwritten document – a long text)


How is a book created? (there are many ways books have been created; however, some people handwrite them first, some use a typewriter or computer; most final drafts and publishing is done on computers)


What is a printing press? (a printing press is a machine that prints mass copies of texts – such as newspapers, books, etc.)


Why do we need to know how to write well? (for presentation purposes – to have our messages and work clear and satisfactory)


What is a signature? (the way someone writes or sings their name, usually using cursive-like lettering)


What is the final phase of the writing process? (publishing – where you write your work in your best handwriting)


What criterion related to capitalization is important to remember when writing cursive? (to distinguish uppercase and lowercase letters)


What criterion related to style of font is important to remember when writing cursive? (to italicize, or slant text to the right)


What criterion related to flow and grip is important to remember when writing cursive? (to continuously connect the letters in each word)


What criterion related to clarity is important to remember when writing cursive? (to write so that each letter and word can be read)


What grip should you keep while you are writing in cursive? (four fingers on one side of pen(cil) and opposing thumb on opposite side, creating a circle around the writing utensil)


Why are pens and pencils sometimes called “writing utensils”? (they are held with the hands, just like other utensils such as forks, spoons, etc.)


What is the most efficient way to write? (to type on the computer because you can erase mistakes without leaving marks and can easily move around, add, delete text, etc.)


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