Activity: Tracing

Activity: Tracing

Activity: Tracing

If you are taking the natural road through language arts, then you are probably already familiar with the first step on the way: tracing.

Probably your child’s first writing lesson was when you printed his name and he traced it or copied it.  Or maybe you started even earlier with one letter instead of a word.  This kind of copying is what happens in many lessons for a young child.  Later, the copying gives way to writing from dictation. Copying and dictating are the two basic lesson activities in the natural method.  Just as the child learned to speak by copying your correct speech, so he learns to write by copying fine writing.

Dr. Ruth Beechick, A Strong Start in Language

Wait until your child can comfortably hold a pencil and is happy scribbling before beginning formal tracing activities.  This varies tremendously from child to child.  Beginning too early benefits no one.

You’ll also want to begin tracing anew when your child is ready for cursive.  Naturally, at that point, you can start further down the list.



You’ll find helpful resources below.

  1. Trace his name.  All children enjoy writing their own name.
  2. Trace a word.  Perhaps a word he encountered or enjoyed from a read-aloud, or a new word that he learned while reading on his own.
  3. Trace a phrase.  Is there a phrase he loves to repeat?  That’s the one!
  4. Trace a sentence.  What is his favorite book at the moment?  What is a favorite passage?  Pick out a simple sentence from his reading.
  5. Trace a Bible verse.  This works well with memorization.
  6. Trace inspiring quotations.


Additional Resources

Handwriting Worksheet Creator
A wide variety of options, including D’Nealian.  The traceables are dotted.