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{Early Literacy Stage 6} Lowercase letter writing

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The development of early literacy skills progresses in stages.  Beginning concepts should be taught before introducing more difficult ones.  By following a proper developmental progression, we assist the child’s natural learning capabilities.   This is why I have written the series {Early Literacy Stages}.  These stages will all inter-mingle with one another, but it is important to define them, and I recommend introducing them in the order given.

{Early Literacy Stage 6} Lowercase letter writing - Wildflower Ramblings #reading #handwriting #preschool

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Here are the Early Literacy Stages for childhood learning:

  1. Uppercase letter recognition
  2. Tactile uppercase letter writing
  3. Utensil prewriting and uppercase letter writing
  4. Lowercase letter recognition (and matching uppercase with lowercase letters)
  5. Lowercase phonetic sounds
  6. Lowercase letter writing

The entire scope of literacy includes the following: reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing.  I am focusing on reading letters and writing letters for this series.  However, the other components are very important in developing the whole child towards literacy and becoming a lifelong learner.

Ensure your child has had success with prewriting and uppercase letter writing before moving on to printing lowercase letters.  See {Early Literacy Stage 3}.

Please note: I do not label these stages by age — it is important to meet the learner where they are and embrace the child’s pace!  However, I don’t believe children should be forced to write before they are developmentally able, and in most cases this means large uppercase letters at four and lowercase letters at age five.  This is challenging work and shouldn’t be stressed upon children until you feel they can be successful with practice — this could mean as early as four or as late as six years of age.


How do we teach our children to print their lowercase letters?


1.   Read, read, read!

Reading to your child is the most important experience you can give to an early learner.  Looking at the pages, ingesting the print, pointing to letters and pictures — all of these help a child understand that letters make words which create ideas and stories!  Books teach your child letters and sounds far better than any other tool or manipulative ever could. Help your child create a love of books by reading morning, nap and night with your child.

  • Create a reading nook for your child, with a special pillow or stuffed animal and a book bin or basket, so your child has a special area to read.


  • When your child is first starting to learn the lowercase letters and sounds, you may like to use books that focus on one letter at a time, such as AlphaTales.  These are fun, silly books that can help your child be excited about each new letter  that you are learning.


  • Print out a special book for the lowercase letter that you are focusing on.  {Check out the adorable little cut out books from Mrs. Meacham’s Classroom Snapshots — scroll down about half-way and click on the pdf icon below “Zaner-Bloser style.” I prefer this to the frills in De’Nelian style which are too much like cursive.}

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2.  Letter order:

After mastering printing uppercase letters, you may choose to either: (Your choice should depend on your child’s abilities!)

  1. Begin printing lowercase letters according to phonics learning (usually a, m, s, and t are the first letters because they can make several words together — you can see my suggested letter sequence in {Early Literacy Stage 5}), or
  2. Learn how to write according to how lowercase letters are printed.  Handwriting without Tears is a handwriting curriculum that teaches a sequential letter order for handwriting; this is assuming the child has mastered uppercase letter writing.  It is no secret that I love this program. Here is their suggested letter order to make printing as smooth as possible:

c o s v w     t     a d g     u i e l k y j     p r n m     h b f q x z


3.  Utilize tactile means to help your child print successfully.

  • I have listed an abundance of hands on and tactile ideas for uppercase letters that can be used for lowercase letters as well: check out {Early Literacy Stage 2}.
  • Write the letter with a finger in sand, salt, shaving cream, or paint!
  • Use lacing cards in the order and direction your child would write.  Check out this DIY version from Live Eat Craft.
  • Print on a piece of glass or a mirror with a marker to help a child print their lowercase letters.
  • Handwriting Without Tears recently came out with an iPad App called Wet-Dry-Try Suite for handwriting practice!


  • Download and print out the free amazing lowercase letter templates from Tired, Need Sleep!  This is a great way for young learners to recognize the straight and curved lines in each letter. I love these!!



  • Use Do A Dot markers and create lowercase letters!  These free printables from 3Dinosaurs are perfect — and they include tracing letters too!


4.  Free materials for handwriting practice:

To begin, tracing will help your child become successful.  There are many free resources available.  I will list these in order of difficulty.  (Handwriting without Tears uses a box and two line method instead of the traditional three lines with a dotted middle line — try what you think is best for your learner!)  You can laminate any of the following pages these so they can be reused with a dry erase marker.

You can find free resources online:

  • I love these colorful sheets from Guru Parents — there are no lines to get in the way!  Perfect for beginning tracing work!


  • This printable from Teacher@Home is my favorite!  I love the different colored boxes for children to practice one lowercase letter at a time!





  • Check out 1plus1plus1equals1’s list of printable packs from A to Z to find {free} supplemental materials for these inexpensive curriculum choices!  Homeschooling does not have to mean high cost.

Or you may choose to purchase a workbook: 


  • Explode the Code (Workbooks A, B, C) are very repetitive and include penmanship lessons along with matching letters to corresponding beginning-sound pictures.  I love these little books, they are simple and designed with the child in mind!


What resources have been most helpful for your children to find success with printing his/her lowercase letters?


Check out all of the Early Literacy posts! 


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