Upper Case Cursive Letter Formation | The OT Toolbox

Upper Case Cursive Letter Formation

Teaching kids to write in cursive can be quite tricky. When it comes to uppercase letters in cursive letters can create another motor plan that needs to be established for accuracy. Below you'll find tricks for teaching uppercase cursive letters and uppercase cursive letter formation.

Some uppercase cursive letters are not used as often as their lowercase counterpart. When kids learn to write their name in cursive and become proficient at their cursive signature the uppercase letter is just part of the motor plan becomes natural and a personal part of a personal style. There are many uppercase cursive letters that can easily be forgotten simply because they are not used very often!



Here are the verbal prompts needed to teach uppercase cursive letter formation.

This post is part of our 31 day series on teaching cursive. You'll want to check out the How to Teach Cursive Writing page where you can find all of the posts in this series. 

For more ways to address the underlying skills needed for handwriting, check out the handwriting drop-down tab at the top of this site.

Uppercase Cursive Letter Formation



Some students develop a natural speed and personal writing style and will prefer to write in cursive. Other students will write only their signature in cursive. Still other students develop a natural speed and personal style and may mix upper and lower case cursive letters. 

If you look at the average adult handwriting you may notice that there is a mixture of printed and cursive letters. The goal being functional written work, this is fine for adults and individuals who are writing for speed such as high school students.

However, consistent and accurate formation is needed for formal written work in cursive.

Uppercase cursive letters



Like the cursive letter families for lowercase, the uppercase letters are divided up into groups of families based on pencil strokes.


Uppercase Cursive Letter Families

Uppercase downward start cursive letters:


These letters include D, F, and T.

These letters all start with a downward stroke of the pencil. 

D begins down followed by a loop to the left upwards with a curved back to the baseline and a big round curve to finish off the top.


F starts in the middle of the letter with a downward stroke followed by a curve to the left and a crossline. Then on top is a crossline topper.


T starts with a middle down work stroke in the middle of the letter followed by a curve to the left and no crossline. Then on top is a crossline topper.


Right curve start uppercase letters


This group includes uppercase letters that start on the right side and curve left. This is much like the formation of a printed c. Right cursive start uppercase letters include A, C, E, O, and Q.


Uppercase cursive A starts at the right top line and curves to the left with a big C motion to the baseline. The pencil then curves up to close a letter causes at the top line. Retrace back down in loops a way to connect.


Uppercase C starts with a right curve start at the top uppercase C


Uppercase letter E


E starts with a right curve start at the top line. It includes two small curves pausing at the middle line before curbing again to the left to the baseline.


Uppercase letter O


Uppercase letter O is a right curve start beginning at the top line and curbing in a big city motion to the baseline. It continues around to close the lot start has a small loop at the top.


Uppercase letter Q


Uppercase letter Q is a right curve start letter beginning at the top line and curving in a big motion to the baseline. Q continues around to close the top of the letter and has a small loop at the end. It then has a kickstand line to complete the letter.


Rocker start uppercase letters


Rocker start letters begin with a small curving motion to begin the letter at the top line. These letters include B, P, R, and L


Uppercase letter B


B starts with a rocker start followed by a straight line down to the baseline. It retraces up to the top line and curve around right to the middle line. Pause and curve around right to the baseline.


Uppercase letter P


Uppercase letter P is a rocker start cursive letter. The letter starts with a rocker line to the top. Straight  line down to the baseline. Retrace up to the top line. Curve around with a small curve to the middle line.


Uppercase letter R


Uppercase letter R is a rocker start cursive letter. The letter starts with a rocker line to the top. Straight line down to the baseline. Retrace up to the top line. Curve around with a small curve to the middle line. Kick out to the baseline with a slant.


Uppercase letter L


Uppercase letter L is a rocker start letter that continues with a small loop down to the baseline. The line continues with a small group and diagonal line to connect as it swings away to the baseline. 

Left curve start letters

Two letters start with a left. These include uppercase letter I and J. Both letters start with the pencil moving in a left line direction.


Uppercase letter I is a left curve start letter. The letter starts at the baseline and swings in a loop to the left and turns at the top line. It continues the tall loop back to the baseline, but continues the motion until reaching the middle line. The pencil pauses and pulls in toward the loop at the midline.


Uppercase letter J


J is a left curve start letter. The letter starts at the baseline and curves left and then up to the top line. It swings straight back down to the baseline and pass the baseline with a table. The line then swings left and then curves up and away to connect.


Top loop start letters


Several letter start with a Top loop that continues down. Please letters including H, K, M, N, X, and W.


Uppercase letter H


Uppercase letter H begins with a top loop that continues down to the baseline. The pencil picks up and starts again at the top line. The pencil stroke goes straight down to the baseline and then swings away to touch the initial pencil line. It swings in a loop and then connects over to the second line. 

Uppercase letter H is one of a few letters with two pencil strokes where the pencil picks up to continue a letter. Most cursive letters and all other cursive letters use only a single pencil stroke.


Uppercase letter K

Uppercase letter K paragraph is a loop start letter. It begins at the top with a link to the right on the lease straight line down to the baseline. This is much like the uppercase letter H. However with the cake it's second line starts at the top line and continues in to cross the first line with a small loop and then continues out again to the baseline.


Uppercase letter H is one of a few letters with two pencil strokes where the pencil picks up to continue a letter. Most cursive letters and all other cursive letters use only a single pencil stroke.



Uppercase letter M


Letter M is a loop start letter that begins at the top line with a loop. The line continue straight down to the baseline and stops. It retraces up over the climb to the top with a bump and continues down to the baseline again. The pencil strip retraces back up that one to the top line and bumps over to the baseline

Uppercase letter N


N is a loop start letter that begins at the top line with a loop. The line continue straight down to the baseline and pauses. It re-traces back up and curbs away with a bump at the top line. The line continue straight down to the baseline and stops.


Uppercase letter X


Uppercase letter X is a loop start letter that begins with the loop at the top line followed by a diagonal line down to the baseline. The pencil is picked up and continued at the top line and has a diagonal in the opposite direction to cross at the middle of the X.

Uppercase letter W


Letter W is a loop start letter that begins at the top line with a loop. The line continues down with a bottom bump inverted bump at the baseline that continues up to the middle line and beyond to the top line. The line is retraced back down with an inverted pump at the baseline. The line continues back up to the top line.


Other letters


The remaining uppercase cursive letters are ones that are very similar information to their lowercase counterparts. They are quite similar in most cases to their printed letter. These letters include Z, U, Y, V,  and W.



Uppercase letter Z


Z is an exact replica of the lowercase Z form.


Uppercase letter U


U is an exact replica of its printed counterpart.


Uppercase letter Y


Uppercase letter Y is an exact replica of it's lowercase cursive counterpart.

Uppercase letter V


V is an exact count a part of its printed counterpart.


Uppercase letter W


Uppercase letter W is an exact replica of its printed counterpart.

The uppercase cursive letters described here are a combination of and mix of two cursive letter styles. The descriptions are designed to promote the easiest formation style of cursive letters, eliminating extra lines such as the beginning loop of uppercase cursive letter C. The letters that are exact replicas of their printed counterparts are designed to ease transition for letters that are not commonly used in written work. This is a tactic of the Handwriting Without Tears format. 

For more cursive handwriting practice, try these ideas:







Here are the verbal prompts needed to teach uppercase cursive letter formation.




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