Handwriting Worksheets

Step 2 - Learn the 8 Letter Groups

These free handwriting worksheets are from the Better Letter Primer.
The 26 letters are arranged in 8 groups to promote correct letter formation.

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Free Downloads - More Info below.

The Better Letter Primer

The Better Letter Primer is a unique handwriting program which promotes proper letter formation. There are four steps in the teaching of letter formation with this program:

Better Letter Primer 4 step diagram

Step Two - The 8 Letter Groups

We have broken the handwriting worksheets into 8 groups. Each group has three letters - except the last two groups have four letters.

Purpose of the 8 Groups

Many of the letters have similar strokes. It is simply easier to learn eight techniques than 26 different techniques.

Of course, within the eight groups, there are differences between the three or four letters as well.

In this program, learning the 8 letter groups is Step Two. Step One is the left to right writing (L2RW) orientation. If you haven't done so already, read the Directions to L2RW. The story line will assist the students with some of the groups.

1st Group
Straight Down

Letters: l, t, i

These letters are formed with the pencil moving straight down the page.
When the "t" is taught, reinforce L2RW.

2nd Group
Pouncing Letters

Letters: b, p, h

These letters go straight down, the pencil moves up, and curves over in L2RW.
Students should frequently be reminded of the "bouncing B" and "pouncing P." Take time to explain what bouncing and pouncing mean. Use a small ball to demonstrate. Drop it and it goes straight down, then it bounces up again.

This emphasis on bouncing/pouncing - and the L2RW will assist the student in differentiating "b" and "d" as well as "p" and "q."

3rd Group
More Bouncing Letters

Letters: r, n, m

These letters use the same down, up and around in the L2RW as the letters above.
These are easy to master, and the student easily moves from r to n to m.

4th Group
See Me Back Home

Letters: c, o, d

These letters break the L2RW rule and are the one of the main culprits in causing frustration and letter reversals.

Using the story line from the L2RW, the "c" wants to go back home. Home is the upper left hand corner.

The "c" heads back towards home, then makes a downward curve and heads back towards the right.

The letter "o" starts with like a "c", but then continues until it is closed.

The letter "d" also starts with a "c", but then goes straight up to the top and back down. Later, when the student has no trouble differentiating "b" and "d", he or she may choose to start at the top and go down. But have students start with a "c" until they are confident of the directions.

5th Group
More C Me Back Home Letters

Letters: a, g, q

Three more letters that start with a "c".
With the "g", the letter "goes into the basement."

6th Group
The Special C Letters

Letters: s, f, e

These are three of the hardest letters. Learning their formation also starts with a modification of the letter "c."

"S" starts at the same place as a "c", but then makes a tiny "c" in the air. Turn back around and go underneath. Older students should assess if their "s" is straight. You can draw vertical lines on either side, connecting the right tops and bottoms of the letter. The two lines should be parallel.

The letter "f" starts up in the air, but it starts the same as a "c." "F" bumps his head on the ceiling fan, then goes straight down. The cross is made with L2RW.
The letter "e" starts in the middle of the line, follows the L2RW, then heads up like a "c."

7th Group
Slanted Letters

Letters: v, y, x, w

These letters all have slanted lines.
"V" is usually an easy letter to master.
Show the student that the lower case "y" is made like a "v", but then continues into the basement. It sits on the bottom line.

8th Group
Unusual Letters

Letters: u, k, j, z

These last four letters are all in a class of their own.
Show the student how the lower case "k" has an arm that begins on the middle line. In comparison, the upper case "K" has an arm that starts on or close to the upper line.
"Z" is often confused with "s" by young children. "Z" uses the L2RW.

How to use the 8 Handwriting Worksheets Groups

Early Childhood
Letters are taught individually. See some of the considerations for preschool handwriting and kindergarten handwriting.

Early Elementary
At this point, the students are familiar with the letters and have likely written them before. Each of the eight groups can be taught as a separate lesson.

There would therefore be eight different lessons - based on the groups described above. If the students are not ready to learn three letters at one time, you may go back to twenty six lessons - or something in between.

If would be possible to cut the handwriting worksheets into four different pieces, so the student only has three letters at one time. For students with poor motor control, however, keeping one large sheet may be easier for the to manipulate.

The student would write three to five letters of each of the three (or four) letters in each lesson.

Older Students
Older students who have developed some competence with letter formation may do these lessons faster. They may be able to complete these handwriting worksheets in two to four lessons.

Handwriting Worksheets Download

Downloads for the 8 Letter Groups
These free downloads will give you the handwriting worksheets needed for the 8 letter classes.

The worksheets are available in three sizes of paper:

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Step Three - Number Formation

Are you finished with the 8 letter groups in Step 2? The third step is Number Formation.

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