How I Add Cursive Writing to My Class

I don’t really teach it… I just help them practice it.

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An example of the five-minute cursive activity my middle schoolers do as soon as they walk into class about three days a week.

I’ve heard some teachers say that they simply don’t have the time teach cursive in their 53-minute class period. Frankly, neither do I. But I can do this: open class with a five-minute cursive activity.

So about three days week, I’ll go to Brainy Quote and click on their Quote of the Day menu and choose a quote from the several choices that are given. Then I enlarge the image so it covers my entire SmartBoard.

  • When students enter my room, they see the quote and know to copy it down in cursive onto a sheet of notebook paper.
  • They need to include the entire quote as shown on the slide.
  • There should be no misspelled words.
  • The author’s name should be included below the quote.
  • And then, they turn it in.

It’s a quick, five-minute way to practice cursive, and for those kids who struggle with cursive, it’s a review that isn’t too daunting or time-consuming. For those kids  who need it,  I print out the slide from Brainy Quote and lay it on their desk so they can copy it more easily without having to look up and down at the SmartBoard several times.

In addition to these cursive quotes, the bi-weekly spelling packets that students have as homework are also to be completed in cursive. Sure, they complained when I started doing this, but now they don’t. It’s just the way we do spelling packets.

For next year, I’m thinking about making my class (one of their eight classes during the day) a 100- percent cursive classroom. In other words, if they write by hand, then it will be in cursive.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s worthwhile to do such a touch-and-go cursive activity. With all the emphasis on standards and tested items, cursive can seem outdated and unnecessary. However, I believe that writing by hand—and especially in cursive– sharpens your brain, slows down your thoughts, and forces you to make decisions as you write. For example, during note-taking, one must – as one writes—decide what to include due to its importance, or what to omit.

Tomorrow, I’ll post a short article I read aloud to my students that explains one reason I emphasize cursive writing in my classroom. Tune in tomorrow for that.

How do you approach cursive writing? Click like and leave a comment to let me know. It’s really an issue that I mull over continually. What do you think?


Published by Marilyn Yung

Writes | Teaches | Not sure where one ends and the other begins.

15 thoughts on “How I Add Cursive Writing to My Class

  1. Hi, I’m not a teacher. I’m an old man and what I do touches only a few lives.

    My mother partipated in a number of Round Robin’s. I’m starting one. So far there are only two us. There are only two rules. It must be in curive and travel via USPS.

    When earned my amateur radio license 30 years ago I printed the Morse code heard, but as my recognition of the dits and dahs increased I had to copy in cursive to keep up

    1. Pardon my ignorance, but can you explain what a Round Robin is? I’m guessing it’s some kind of writing game where you write to others on a circuit, etc. Sounds like it might be fun for my students to try. Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it!

      1. Not a problem. A Round Robin is several people, pen pals, begin. I write a letter to you. You, in turn, write a letter, include it with mine and send it to another friend. Six seemed the best number. When it comes back to me I write a second letter, pull my first one, and send the packet of six letters to you. And the circle continues. It takes weeks to complete the circle. It’s a pre-Internet activity.

      2. Thanks for explaining. It might be something I can do with my students. Finding pen pals would be the trick. I’m sure there’s a website for that, though. Thanks again!

      3. Good Morning. Yes it is an activity you could do with your students as well as something they can try amongst themselves.

        You are invited to join Bill and I. I’m retired, an air force vet, a husband of 56 years come 23 June. I’m 80 and my home is in Southeast Arkansas. Bill is a retired electrical engineer living in Portland. We are both licensed amateur radio operators. Much of our chatter will focus on radios and antennas, Morse code, and….

        I can understand any hesitancy you may harbor, connecting with two strange men. And I won’t be insulted if you say no. It’s okay. Our call signs are n7net and k7wxw. You can google those for more information that’s filtered out to the Internet. If you decide to join us I’ll send your postal address to Bill and you will be number 3.

        Thanks for the message.


  2. Hi, I’m not a teacher, so what I do doesn’t effect a great number of people. But when I earned my amateur radio license 30 + years ago I printed the Morse code I heard. But I had to switch 4 cursive beyond eight wpm. U I wonder if this little boy’s parents were elsewhere, or just stupid?

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