There are many types of handwriting programs, papers and videos available to help children with visual prompts for proper letter formation. Regardless of the handwriting program used, some visual prompts used for teaching handwriting include:
- alphabet strip or wall cards to copy proper formation
- modeling proper letter formation
- wide lined paper
- three lines with one dotted in the middle
- two lines similar to Handwriting Without Tears style lines
- start and stop lines at the margins
- numbers to guide what strokes to form in what order
- highlighted paper
- dotted lines to trace for letter formation
Verbal prompts when teaching handwriting may include:
- reminders to start at the top
- scripted letter formation guides
Physical prompts when teaching handwriting may include:
- guiding a child’s hand to start at the top
- guiding the hand to hold the pencil correctly
As the child learns to master parts of the skill of handwriting, gradually fade the visual, verbal or physical prompts to encourage full independence by the child. Some research indicates that reducing prompts is the most effective fading prompts technique because it results in fewer errors and quicker skill acquisition than the least to more prompting method (starting with the least amount of prompts possible).
Here are some free downloads that provide visual prompts when teaching handwriting:
Read more about how to use prompts effectively.
Fading Alphabet includes worksheets that gradually increase in visual motor difficulty while decreasing visual prompts for letter formation. There are 26 double lined worksheets for boxed capital letters and 26 double lined lowercase letters (Handwriting with Tears style) OR Fading Alphabet – 26 Uppercase Letters and 26 Lowercase Letters Dotted Lined worksheets (Zaner-Bloser style). Find out more information.
Reference: MacDuff, Gregory S., Patricia J. Krantz, and Lynn E. McClannahan. “Prompts and prompt-fading strategies for people with autism.” Making a difference: Behavioral intervention for autism (2001): 37-50.