Posts Tagged ‘Teaching letter formation’

Letter Formation

Teaching Handwriting

Teaching a one-stroke method for Lowercase letters (except for “f, i, j, k, t, and x”) makes handwriting easier, neater, faster, and makes cursive easier when they are older.   Letters are started one of 4 ways:

  1. First, “l, i, j, t, h, b, p, r, n, and m” are started with a straight line down, and finished with an up and over the hill in the case of “h, b, p, r, n, and m”.   The “b” is made by coming straight down, then up and over like an “h”, then tucked under.  (Associating “b” with “h” and helping children connect their similarities will help children keep “b” and “d” straight in their mind.)
  2. Second, the letters “a, d, g, q, s, and o” are started by writing a “c”.  Such as, “a” starts like a “c”, then go up and touch where the “c” starts, and come straight down.  Wait about 6 weeks after you have taught “b”, to introduce “d”.  This will help children keep these two letters straight.  Associating “d” with “a” and connecting their similarities, will help children be less confused between “b” and “d”.  Most children get them mixed-up.  Just keep comparing “b” to “h” and “d” to “a”, and they will eventually get it straight.  Here is a sample instruction for “d”:   “d” is made by starting at the broken line, go around like a “c”, then go up to the top line, then come straight down to the bottom line.
  3. Third, “u” and “y” are started by drawing a smile, then come straight down.  In the case of “y”, add a hook like in the j and g (For example see picture below).  Teaching “y” this way will do two things.  It will make the “y” easier, and it won’t look like an “x”.  Also, it will make the transition to cursive easier.
  4. Fourth, v, w, x, k, and z are the angled letters.  These are harder for children to form.  Teach these later in your instruction, unless the child has one in their name.

We have phonics based lesson plans that provide great ideas for kindergarten, preschool, or home schools.  Visit our website.


Lesson Plan Ideas for the Dd Sound

Letter Dd Sound

Objective:  Help children recognize the Dd sound and learn to write the letter Dd.


  • We have great phonics pictures and songs for all 44 sounds to purchase on our website.
  • Have a drum to make the “Drumming Drum” sound. (A toy drum works fine.)
  • Collect some pictures with Dd sound at the beginning and other pictures.
  • Decide on a worksheet or use this word family worksheet. word family dad words
  • Copy the Nursery Rhyme, “Hey, Diddle, Diddle”.
  • Have the children’s name cards.
  • Have paint, paper, and paint shirts for finger painting.


Listen to some of the Phonics By Spelling songs including Dd.

Talk about the Dd sound.  Play a drum and have them make the Dd sound.  (Dd makes the sound of a drum.) Have them keep their chin closed and only their tongue moves in their mouth.  (Having the children hold their fist under their chin will help keep them from adding an “UH” to the consonants.)  You can have them hold their fist under their chin to help keep it closed.)

Read the Nursery Rhyme, “Hey Diddle, Diddle”:

  • Hey, diddle, diddle!
  •       The cat and the fiddle,
  • The cow jumped over the moon;
  •       The little dog laughed
  •       To see such a sport,
  • And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Which words in the Nursery Rhyme have the “Drumming Drum” sound?  Do you hear the sound at the end of any of the words?

Show pictures and decide if the pictures has the Dd sound in it.


  • Do a worksheet.  If you use the worksheet on the blog.  Have the child rewrite the word, then draw a picture of the word.
  • Review how to form the letters by finger painting.  Have each put on a paint shirt.  Have them write their name on the paper with a crayon.  Have them pick one hand to be in the paint and one hand to hold the paper.  (It is nice to have trays to put the paper on for painting, then it is easy to take the tray to the sink for clean up.)  Have them spread the paint on the paper.  Demonstrate how to make a letter with a finger in the paint.  Have them draw the letter.  When your finished let them make a picture in the paint.  It works good to put foam soap on their hands and have them rub them while they are waiting to wash their hand.  It is good to have an adult helping them wash their hands and taking off the paint shirts.  (It is fun to cut the painting into a shape such as cutting a pumpkin out of orange.)
  • A follow up lesson might be to talk about Dairy food and make a Milk Shake.
  • More phonics ideas from Phonics By Spelling.
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