sometimes all that it takes to make hours of handwriting practice
“click”. This modified paper technique is a common way that is used
among Occupational Therapists to address line awareness, letter size, and
letter formation needs in kids.
these ideas for DIY versions of the paper for a visual cue that may help kids
learn to write on the lines, form letters with appropriate size, and make
letters accurately in a way that helps with legibility and overall neatness.
Sky Ground Paper for Better Handwriting
their handwriting. This post is part of our 30 day series on simple ideas for better handwriting. While I’m just a tad behind in my posting
schedule (don’t worry, I’ve got all 30 great ideas planned out for you!), I am
keeping the round up of easy handwriting tricks up to date.
created for handwriting help. Jump in, ask questions, share your tips and
tricks and join the fun: Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help
There are all kinds of adapted paper out there that can help kids improve
their legibility and neatness of written work. Just a few examples
include bold lined paper, raised lined paper, colored lined paper, highlighted bottom space paper, and graphpaper. Today’s topic addresses sky-ground paper.
designed to add a visual component to kids’ written work. The color-coded
lines can help kids visualize the appropriate size of letters. Consider
the “tall” letters: b, d, f, h, k, l, t, and all of the upper case
letters start at the top line. However, occasionally, kids omit use of
that top line and either start the letter’s formation above the top line, or the
start the letter under the top line. Their handwriting results in written
work that appears inconsistent in difficult to read.
letter height is a big component in overall legibility. When letters are
formed too large for the available writing area, letters begin to grow in width
or are inconsistent in overall size. Space between words suffers as a
result of the child attempting to squeeze their written response into the
have a “tail” that drops down below the baseline should be
appropriately placed on the line. When a child seems to have visual
perceptual difficulties or difficulty with visual motor integration, letter
placement or pencil control may suffer.
visual component to paper with the sky-ground paper is poor letter formation. Some children form letters in parts. They make a “d” by
drawing a circle and a line. Other times, kids form letters quickly and in
a flowing manner while writing. For example, when writing the word
“car”, the child may make the letter “a” and then quickly
draw a curved candy cane shape for the letter “r” by starting at the
bottom line after forming the letter a with a downward line.
appropriately, with top-to-bottom formation. Using visual and verbal cues
of the colored lines and even pictures on the lined paper can address these
Related Read: Try these handwriting accommodation strategies to address a variety of handwriting challenges.
Visual perception Needs and Modified Paper
child attempts to write. You may see
difficulties with line awareness, spatial awareness, or size awareness. This is because the visual perceptual skills are needed to place letters on the lines and play an important part of line awareness, size awareness, letter formation, and copying skills.
Visual motor integration skills and modified paper
eye-hand coordination may be observed. Coordinated use of the pencil to place letters where they want them can
be difficult when they are lacking in visual motor integration abilities.
Use Sky Ground Paper to Help with Handwriting
ground, kids can see and understand the size differences in letters. Tall letters that reach the top lines are the
ones that start at the sky or the blue line.
The small letters (a, c, o, r, etc) are letters that reach the middle
line but should not go up into the sky.
And tail letters (j, g, p, etc) have a tail that goes down under the
be placed on lines!
ground. Add a line in the middle.”
While there are several versions of this paper available online, you can easily make your own version for quick intervention. Use a thin blue marker and thin green marker to quickly add lines to paper.
There are several versions of this paper available under the name Smart Start paper.
House Handwriting Method
Another trick that builds on this method is the concept of a
house. For kids who are older or those
that don’t want marker lines or special paper to be used, try this house method
different that their desk neighbor.
Differences can be stressful for these kiddos that are already struggling
to write legibly due to underlying needs.
A lesser modification is great once they have shown success with adaptations
such as sky ground paper or DIY paper cues.