Teaching Letter Writing

Noah wants to write all sorts of words lately, but he can't always remember how to form the letters. Especially the lower case letters.
Sometimes, my hands are busy and the best I can do is describe the letter to him.
So, I asked my mother, a reading specialist, for a list of verbal cues (also known as pathways).
I'm posting them here, just in case you need some help, too!

Notes:
- Children are trained to start making all lower case letters at the top and then move downward.
- The letter 'c' is one of the first letters children learn to make. Knowing how to make a 'c' will enable them to form many more letters.
- Several different methods exist for teaching writing. To find more methods, you can google the following programs: Handwriting Without Tears, Zaner-Blozer, Fundations, Ball and Stick, Denelian. If you know which one your kid's school uses, coordinate!
- *I* call these 'verbal cues;' my-mother-the-reading-specialist calls them 'verbal pathways.'
- I think I might go through these once or twice with Noah before I start dictating letters to him across the room.


a
circle back, close it up, straight line down
(or 'c' turns into 'a')

b
straight line down, bounce up and make a ball (on the bottom)

c
circle back

d
'c' turns into 'd'

e
straight line across, up and around

f
make a candy cane, add a bowtie

g
'a' turns into 'g' (down and under)

h
straight line down, up and over

i
straight line down, add a dot

j
down and under, add a dot

k
straight line down quack-quack (or in-out)

l
straight line down

m
straight line down, up and over, up and over

n
straight line down, up and over

o
circle back and close it up

p
straight line down, push up and make a pom-pom at the top

q
make an 'a' curve down and out

r
straight line down, up and over

s
make a 'c', curve it back

t
straight line down, cross it

u
smiley face with a straight line down

v
down, up

w
down, up, down, up

x
slant down to the right, slant down to the left

y
little stick, big stick

z
over, slant down, over

More notes:
- Most kids learn their upper case letter without need for verbal cues (??)
- The only two upper case letters that do not follow the rule of 'starting at the top' are M and N:

M
up, down, up, down

N
up, down, up