AN INTRODUCTION TO PRE-WRITING PATTERNS
When we begin to break the process of handwriting down into its individual components, we realise that handwriting is not one simple task of writing letters and numbers on a page, it’s a series of complex and intricate steps.
Each of these steps tasks require a child to learn a new skill in order to successfully master the task.
When we break down these steps, we begin to realise the importance of each one and how crucial it is for a child to master each individual step before they move on to the next.
In this post, we want to look at pre-writing patterns and how they can help to best prepare a child for early handwriting skills.
What Are Pre-Writing Patterns?
Pre-writing patterns are a collection of different types of lines specifically developed for the purpose of developing a level of structure to a child's mark-making ability.
Lines are very simple in structure and can feature a series of dots, spirals, circles, waves, zig-zags, vertical and horizontal lines.
These lines are chosen as they are represented in the letters and numbers a child will eventually learn to write.
Why Are Pre-Writing Patterns Beneficial?
Pre-writing patterns are designed to encourage a series of essential movements in the child's hands, fingers and wrists that will assist in training, strengthening and developing a child's hands in preparation for writing.
If a child is familiar with creating pre-writing patterns prior to handwriting, it is likely they will have a better understanding and relationship with the movements and motions required to form letters.
Which Pre-Writing Patterns Do We Start With?
As with all education, this will be dependent on your child's current abilities. We always encourage education to meet a child where they are at.
If you present a child with patterns that are far above their capabilities, they will feel discouraged and struggle to complete the task. If a child is presented with patterns they have already mastered, it is likely they will become bored and disinterested.
Beginners / Circles and Dots
- Circles and dots can be demonstrated as individual marks
- Change directions. Horizontal, vertical, marking dots along a line or shape
- Experiment with different sizes. Circles and dots can be small or large.
- Using different colours is a great way to add some fun to this activity.
Developing / Straight Lines
- Horizontal or vertical lines are a great starting point. You can try horizontal lines also.
- Patterns and sequencing using different lines.
- Drawing from one side of the page to the other.
- Long or short lines.
- Experiment with different patterns such as zig-zags and apexes.
Intermediate / Curved Lines
- Curved lines, waves, spirals, simple swirls and circles.
- Experiment with different exaggerations of this line including smaller or more pronounced waves.
- Simple ‘C’ shapes patterns moving into more Complex spirals.
- Circles of different sizes.
Mastery / Complex Lunes and Patterns
- Lines that intersect and cross paths - springs, crosses.
- Turret shapes as seen on a castle tower.
- Lines that change motion - waves with peaks at the top, raindrop shapes.
- Complex spirals with tight turns.
How To Present Pre-Writing Patterns In A Multi-Sensory way?
Pre-writing patterns also don’t have to be introduced on paper. If you have a child that is resistant to writing, why not introduce these patterns to them in a multi-sensory way that they connect with.
Some examples of multi-sensory ways to learn pre-writing patterns could be tracing patterns in sand, painting on an easel, working with chalk, tracing patterns with their fingers or hands, working on a vertical surface, drawing lines to the beat of music, or even tracing the patterns in the air with their hands. Have some fun!
As you can see, learning pre-writing patterns can be simple and really fun.
If you’d like to try your hand at learning some simple pre-writing patterns, we’ve created a free downloadable activity sheet that features patterns for beginners and developing learners.
Of course, if you have any questions or ideas to share, please let us know in the comments or join the discussion over on our Instagram or Facebook pages.