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Zaner-Bloser Handwriting

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Digital Program Sampler
Shaping Effective Communicators

Handwriting: A Research-Based Foundational Literacy Skill

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting makes it easy to deliver high-quality, developmentally appropriate handwriting instruction.

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting is a complete program that

  • can be taught in as little as 15 minutes a day.
  • uses academic language and modeling with fewer, more specific stroke descriptions than other programs.
  • teaches a vertical manuscript alphabet that approximates the letterforms most widely used in environmental print, unlike other programs’ alphabets, to better promote literacy development.
  • meets the needs of all students by teaching in the correct developmental sequence and allowing for differentiation, based on learning style, language acquisition, and motor development.
  • offers easy-to-use technology to engage students and support teachers in instruction and practice.

How does handwriting instruction benefit students?

Handwriting is more than a fine motor skill. Research shows that handwriting instruction and handwriting skill impact students’ overall literacy development and that early fine motor writing skills predict later academic achievement.

Reading and math acquisition
Preschool students who have greater ease with fine motor writing tasks have better academic skills in second grade in both reading and math (Dinehart & Manfra, 2013).

Letter formation
Handwriting practice is a key component of the motor learning necessary to form letters and numerals correctly (Asher, 2006).

Handwriting speed and output
When students develop the fine motor skills that accompany learning to write by hand, their writing speed and output increase (Graham & Harris, 2005; Graham & Weintraub, 1996).

Fluency, automaticity, and the quality of higher-order written language skills
As students’ handwriting becomes more fluent and automatic, they can devote more attentional resources to complex writing tasks, and their written language improves (Christensen & Jones, 2000). Other research suggests that handwriting is significantly related to writing fluency and quality for both primary and intermediate elementary students (Graham, Berninger, Abbott, Abbott, & Whitaker, 1997).



Asher, A. (2006). Handwriting instruction in elementary schools. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 60, 461–471.

Christensen, C., & Jones, D. (2000). Handwriting: An underestimated skill in the development of written language. Handwriting Today, 2, 56–69.

Dinehart, L., & Manfra, L. (2013). Associations between low-income children’s fine motor skills in preschool and academic performance in 2nd grade. Early Education and Development, 24(2), 138–161.

Graham, S., Berninger, V. W., Abbott, R. D., Abbott, S. P., & Whitaker, D. (1997). Role of mechanics in composing of elementary school students: A new methodological approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(1), 170–182.

Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2005). Improving the writing performance of young struggling writers. The Journal of Special Education, 39, 19–33.

Graham, S., & Weintraub, N. (1996). A review of handwriting research: Progress and prospects from 1980–1994. Educational Psychology Review, 8, 7–87.



Materials by Grade

Developmentally appropriate handwriting instruction supports literacy development!

Select a grade for more information.

ABC 123 Just For Me!
Handwriting Readiness

Prewriting and Handwriting Basics


Basic Manuscript Strokes, Letters, and Numerals

Grade 1

Manuscript Reinforcement

Grade 2M

Manuscript Mastery

Grade 2C

Manuscript Mastery and Cursive Basics

Grade 3

Manuscript Review and Transition to Cursive

Grade 4

Cursive Reinforcement

Grade 5

Manuscript Maintenance and Cursive Mastery

Grade 6

Manuscript and Cursive Maintenance


Or, view the Zaner-Bloser Handwriting ancillary materials. ›

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Samples

 Grade Activity Book Teacher Guide School Home Booklets
Handwriting Readiness ABC 123 Just For Me!
 Grade Student Edition eTeacher Edition Practice Masters Digital Resources
K Introduction to Basic Strokes and Letters
1 Introduction to Manuscript Handwriting
2M Mastery of Manuscript Handwriting
2C Review of Manuscript Handwriting and
Introduction to Cursive Handwriting
3 Review of Manuscript Handwriting and
Introduction to Cursive Handwriting
4 Mastery of Cursive Handwriting
5 Maintenance of Manuscript and Cursive
6 Maintenance of Manuscript and Cursive
7/8 Development of proper handwriting techniques


More Handwriting Resources

Now you can create, save, and edit documents using
Zaner-Bloser's manuscript and cursive alphabets. ZB FontsOnline Plus provides templates for spelling and
vocabulary worksheets, class lists, and more.

See how Zaner-Bloser Handwriting aligns to the Common
Core State Standards for Grades K-8.

Integrate weekly handwriting instruction into short
15-minute time blocks each day with these helpful pacing guides.

Catch up on the latest handwriting news and
find fresh new ways to make teaching handwriting
fun and effective with Zaner-Bloser's Write On!
Online Newsletter. Released quarterly.

Develop, celebrate, and reward legible handwriting by entering the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. The annual contest measures the handwriting abilities of students in Grades K-8 in schools using Zaner-Bloser Handwriting materials.

Designed for students to work independently, this
work book covers both manuscript and cursive
writing. It helps students develop proper handwriting
techniques, focuses on writing fundamentals, and
corrects poor habits.

On the Road to Writing and Reading for PreKindergarten uses music, movement, stories, and fun multisensory activities to promote reading and writing readiness.

Used by pre-service teachers in methods courses
nationwide, it's a perfect way to teach handwriting
and let Zaner-Bloser's experts grade the papers!
Also beneficial to professionals in any career who
rely on written communication. Educators can earn
up to 15 contact hours. All-inclusive book contains
enrollment forms, self-study lessons, practice pages in
manuscript and cursive, and tests. Order today!

Introduce your students to calligraphy and explore handwriting as an art form.



Q: What is the link between handwriting and literacy development?

A: By learning vertical manuscript, children learn to write the same letters they see in books, strengthening more.

View more Frequently Asked Questions


Educational Research, Articles, Information, and Resources

Click on the articles that interest you. View online or print from your browser.

Aug 26
New handwriting-readiness program—ABC 123 Just For Me!—builds foundational skills to prepare students for kindergarten.
Jun 4
The New York Times reports on a compelling body of research about the benefits of handwriting.
May 5
The Washington Post reports on a new study that shows the advantages of taking notes by hand versus keyboarding.
May 2
The Houston Independent School District blogs about their Nicholas Maxim Award winner in the 2014 National Handwriting Contest.
Apr 1
Zaner-Bloser announces the Nicholas Maxim Award Winners in the 2014 National Handwriting Contest.
Mar 26
NPR’s Cory Turner interviews education experts about the role of cursive handwriting in today’s schools.
Mar 25
In this Opinion piece, a seasoned educator explains why handwriting instruction cannot be neglected.
Mar 20
Judy Schoonover, OT and Assistive Technology Trainer in Louden County Schools, VA, and Sandra Schefkind, Pediatric Program Manager at AOTA, discuss occupational therapy in today's schools.
Mar 19
In this WTXL story, a Florida professor explains why adding handwriting to the state's standards is a necessary change.
Mar 13
In this Education Week Commentary, a teacher explains why she now believes handwriting is a critical 21st century skill.
Mar 5
This Times Reporter article shares educators' opinions about the need for handwriting instruction in schools.
Feb 17
This article discusses the research on how handwriting positively impacts learning and memorization.
Feb 3
A Columbus Parent article offers insight about the need for handwriting instruction in today's schools.
Jan 14
In his Psychology Today blog post, J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D., explains the implications of removing handwriting from the curriculum.
Oct 1
For the first time since its inception, kindergarteners are invited to compete in the contest's manuscript portion.
Aug 20
Dr. William R. Klemm's Psychology Today blog post explains why schools should not stop teaching cursive.
Jul 9
A Kansas superintendent explains why handwriting remains an important part of the curriculum in her district's schools.
Jul 1
Researchers gather data about handwriting instruction by observing kindergarten students and teachers.
Apr 29
An economics professor explains how handwriting helps his students learn.
Apr 24
Two special needs students win the Nicholas Maxim Award in the 2013 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest.
Apr 17
Dedication to handwriting excellence pays off for National Winners and Grand National Champions in the 2013 National Handwriting Contest.
Mar 28
A movement to keep cursive handwriting in the curriculum is taking hold across the country, this District Administration Magazine article explains.
Mar 25
Dr. Virginia Berninger responds to a handwriting policy update from the National Association of State Boards of Education.
Mar 1
In the year following Handwriting in the 21st Century? An Educational Summit, states have been revisiting the need for handwriting in schools.
Feb 1
Educators and students debate the role of cursive handwriting in the classroom.
Jan 17
Philip Hensher's essay on The Wall Street Journal website discusses the sentimental value of handwriting.
Oct 9
Zaner-Bloser participates in the dedication ceremony for the first public monument celebrating our nation’s handwriting heritage.
Oct 1
This policy update from NASBE discusses the research, the standards, and the debate about handwriting instruction.
Aug 13
Educators involved with young children who are just beginning to write have a very important job. As with all emerging skills, what is learned right from the start will shape lifelong habits and abilities.
Aug 13
Legible handwriting is increasingly important in today's curriculum. Its benefits are well documented in sources ranging from handwriting research to current news stories and the work of educational leaders.
Aug 13
A literacy work station is an area within the classroom where students work alone or interact with one another, using instructional materials to explore and expand their literacy. Learn more about how to incorporate work stations, including a handwriting work station, into your classroom.
Aug 13
Jane Case-Smith, Occupational Therapy Consultant for Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, discusses the importance of teaching handwriting to all students from an occupational therapist's perspective.
Aug 13
Handwriting is an important communication skill that reinforces reading, spelling, and writing. Because of its foundational nature, this skill is important for all children, including English Language Learners.
Aug 13
Steve Graham, Ph.D., Senior Consultant for Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, discusses his research which indicates that developmentally appropriate handwriting instruction supports literacy development.
Aug 13
A research white paper by J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D., and Steve Graham, Ed.D., re-posted with permission from Saperstein Associates
Aug 13
Technology isn't necessarily an enemy of good handwriting, Deborah Basel explains in this article from Pen World magazine reviewing handwriting apps. Basel selected Zaner-Bloser's app as her favorite.
Aug 13
Hanover Research's white paper provides a fresh look at the most current research on the place of handwriting instruction in the 21st century classroom.
Aug 6
Learning to write the manuscript alphabet enhances letter recognition. It also empowers young children to write, which stimulates their interest and skill in reading.
Aug 6
Written Language Production Standards for Grades K–8 are now available for state and local adoption.
Jun 19
National standards for K–8 handwriting and keyboarding instruction are now available for review.
Jun 19
Educators and researchers explain why handwriting is necessary in the 21st century classroom.
Jun 19
Winners chosen from 325,000—record number of entries—as country's best handwriters.
Jun 19
Student inspires Zaner-Bloser to create special needs handwriting award and acts as an example in courage and determination.
Jun 19
Two special needs students are honored for their penmanship mastery in Zaner-Bloser's National Handwriting Contest.
Jun 19
Top 16 students are awarded for their handwriting mastery.
Jun 19
Baton Rouge students advance in Zaner-Bloser’s National Handwriting Contest—further reinforcing the value of good penmanship.
Jun 19
The new white paper, published by Saperstein Associates, summarizes the research presented at recent handwriting summit.
Jun 19
Educators from across the country heard and discussed evidence-based research at educational summit.
Jun 19
Zaner-Bloser, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, will sponsor the January 23 event.
Jun 19
Utah's Murray District schools apply Zaner-Bloser's best practices for handwriting instruction, benefiting students and teachers alike.
Jun 19
A psychological connection between how we write and who we are makes our handwriting style susceptible to outside influence.
Jun 19
New study shows powerful cognitive effects for children who practice handwriting.
Jun 19
Learning activities help children keep spelling and handwriting skills fresh during summer break.
Jun 19
Cursive and manuscript apps are now available for parents and teachers.
Jun 19
Garden Grove TV3 spotlights first grade student, Sarah Dang, a national winner of Zaner-Bloser's 20th Annual National Handwriting Contest.
Jun 19
The Los Angeles Times reports that practicing handwriting is a healthy brain-building activity.
Jun 19
Public school students in Columbia, Missouri, experience the many benefits of learning cursive handwriting.
Jun 19
The three new apps follow the release of the Manuscript app, which has been listed in What's Hot in the iTunes store.
Jun 19
The Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship will be awarded to a special needs student each year.
Jun 19
Competing in the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest raises students' awareness of the importance of handwriting.
Jun 19
Tools range from multimedia instruction to online resources and handwriting apps.
Jun 19
Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 2012 and Spelling Connections 2012 meet 100 percent of the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
Jun 19
Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 2012 and Spelling Connections 2012 address the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
Jun 19
We live in a right-handed society. Our civilization has been built around a tradition that regards the right hand as preferable to the left. Hand tools, machines, even doors were designed on the basis of this attitude.

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