Tips for Teaching Cursive Handwriting

I remember the excitement of learning cursive as a student. I still see that excitement in my students today. I think they believe cursive instruction is a sort of right of passage for 3rd graders. In a world where handwriting instruction is dying (but still needed) I do teach cursive. On the other hand, I am a huge proponent of technology literate learners. In some places, the technology instruction takes the place of handwriting instruction. I believe we need both! You can integrate technology into cursive instruction.

In preparation for this post, I surveyed several teachers about their thoughts on cursive. The opinions were all very similar. I can sum it up by saying these teachers believe that handwriting is important, they cannot require students to write in cursive because it was not properly taught and it impacts students ability to read some texts.

Where do we as teachers go from here? I believe we need to instruct still and expose our students to cursive. In my nine years of teaching, cursive practice went from a mandatory daily handwriting instruction curriculum to it not being a priority. My team and I have made it a priority and here is what I do in my classroom.

How to Start Teaching Cursive Handwriting

Fountain pen on an antique handwritten letter

To begin the school year, I teach the cursive alphabet starting with lowercase letters with similar formations. Once I have instructed the lowercase letters, we learn the uppercase letters and move into words and sentences. The students love the idea of cursive but often find it a challenge, as a teacher I work to encourage them and provide different ways to practice.

One way we practice is with cursive placemats. These are just what they sound like, big placemats that students can write on with dry erase markers. You can make your own by laminating your favorite cursive practice. Another practice tool is the iPad. There are some great handwriting apps.

Great Cursive Handwriting Apps

Cursive Writing – This app directs students to trace the cursive letters. They can do this with their finger or with a stylus to give more of the pencil feel.

Cursive Practice – This app can be used with a finger or a stylus and instructs students to write letters and words.

We continue to write cursive throughout the school year going from letters to phrases and using it in our daily work. I also model proper cursive often. I think this helps the students read cursive.

Additional Resources

I do not have an actual cursive curriculum, so I rely on great resources to help me instruct cursive. You can find some wonderful cursive resources right here on Educents!


Cursive Writing With Educents Heros

This is a 53-page resource! It helps you teach 2nd-4th-grade students upper and lower case cursive.




Daily Handwriting Practice

This is one of the resources I use to help teach cursive. This is something that I use after I have instructed all of the letters for more practice. The phrases and paragraphs that the students write are high interest and pair well with our curriculum.


About the All-Star Blogger:

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Hi! I am Ashley, the blogger behind Teaching In Bronco Country. I am a third-grade literacy and social studies teacher. I love reading, blogging, being a mom and, of course, the Denver Broncos. My store, Teaching in Bronco Country, can be found here.