Articles & Videos

The art in handwriting

Paper airplane

Subscribe to our newsletters

Receive teaching resources and tips, exclusive special offers, useful product information and more!


Back to articles & videos

The art in handwriting

Writing Time 12/5/16


When you think about it, handwriting is art. The act of handwriting is a combination of subtle shifts in pencil control, clockwise and anticlockwise movements, and the use of a variety of exit and entry angles.

Applying these handwriting movements requires fine motor skills; and creating artwork can be an enjoyable way to develop and refine those skills.

Incorporate art into your handwriting lessons with these great ideas:

  • Warm up with abstract art
    Students create an abstract artwork incorporating core shapes of a focus letter or letter combination.

  • Create patterns
    Instead of colouring, students draw a series of repeating patterns to complete a picture.

  • Fill pictures with words
    Another way to complete an image (apart from colouring or patterns) is for students to write the name of the image in all the empty spaces, such as filling the shape of a balloon with the word ‘balloon’.

  • Create characters
    Students draw a series of characters that represent different emotions. Students will find subtle variations in the characters’ faces have a big impact on how their emotions are represented.

Writing Time Student Books contain fine motor skills art activities that give students ample opportunity to practise the movements necessary for good letter formation. Students will love making ‘rounded entries’ as they create bug pathways across the page, or ‘diagonal joins’ to form a precarious rope bridge.

The benefits of drawing, tracing and creating patterns also cross over into other aspects of literacy, particularly writing. Recent research has shown that the similarity of the two semiotic systems – drawing and writing – means that learning is ‘most powerful’ when they are used together 1.

So get creative in your next handwriting lesson and watch as students truly engage in the art of handwriting. Share your tips on social media and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


  1. Adoniou, 2013 <
Share article
More Writing Time articles & videos