A New Edition for a New Generation of Handwriting Excellence

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting and Zaner-Bloser La escritura © 2020 (grades K–6) will be available for classroom implementation in Fall 2019! This exciting new edition features the research-based, proven instruction that has made Zaner-Bloser the #1 handwriting program paired with new digital support and additional opportunities for students to take ownership for their learning.

For current Zaner-Bloser users, check out what’s new for © 2020 organized around three key points:

  • Opportunities to demonstrate proficiency and progress for students
  • Time-saving materials for teachers
  • Explicit, hands-on instruction for all

Not yet familiar with the importance of handwriting instruction for building literacy skills? Let’s consider Why Handwriting?

New for © 2020

Child writing

Teach All Students to Shine

As educators, you witness the joy students experience printing their names for the first time or reading and writing in cursive. That combination of pride, accomplishment, and excitement is a feeling that every student should experience.

We want to ensure that all students don’t just write their letters, but can express themselves as confident, capable communicators as well! Zaner-Bloser Handwriting and Zaner-Bloser La escritura © 2020 feature a host of new opportunities for students to shine as writers, composers, and thinkers. Updates to the program make our instruction more inclusive with additional hands-on application.

See what’s new for students in © 2020.

  • NEW! Zaner-Bloser La escritura adds instruction at grades 4, 5, and 6! All students now have access to the gold standard in handwriting in both English and Spanish.
  • NEW! Reading Historical Documents exercises for grades 4 and 6 provide crucial practice in reading primary sources—many in their original cursive.
  • NEW! Handwriting Activity Cards encourage additional practice with colorful cards that can be used for small group work, at activity centers, or for individual enjoyment.
  • NEW! QR codes in the Practice Masters allow students to scan and link to Animated Letter Models and other instructional videos.
picture of clock

Time-Saving Materials for Teachers

The © 2020 edition features exciting tips and digital tools to make teaching handwriting even more efficient!

See what’s new for teachers in © 2020.

  • NEW! MyZBPortal.com provides one-stop access to the complete Zaner-Bloser Handwriting and Zaner-Bloser La escritura program online! Log into the main portal and easily navigate among all your resources. Take a brief online tour!
  • NEW! Student Edition Pages (available through the Quick Lessons tab in the MyZBPortal.com Table of Contents) can be projected on a whiteboard for easy whole-class instruction. Animated Letter Models are also linked to QR codes throughout the print Student Edition and Practice Masters so students can revisit the strokes and increasingly take ownership for their learning in class and at home.
  • NEW! ZB FontsOnline is now ZB Worksheet Maker. Available at MyZBPortal.com, this easy-to-use tool allows teachers to generate their own practice masters (cursive and manuscript) across different content areas. Choose your template and add in content that also provides additional handwriting activity. New features include graphic organizers, Spanish templates, printable PDFs, and the ability to create traceable worksheets.
  • NEW! Time-Saving Tips tip-in from the Teacher Edition outlines how to use these digital tools to maximize your instruction time. Download a PDF of the tips.
Child writing

Explicit, Proven Instruction

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting and Zaner-Bloser La escritura feature the same intelligent approach to instruction that has proven successful for generations of children. Our efficient, effective method can be implemented through direct instruction and across disciplines in just 15 minutes per day!

See why Zaner-Bloser is the Gold
Standard for handwriting instruction.

  • The Keys to Legibility (Shape, Size, Spacing, Slant) for instruction and self-assessment
  • Three-Step Lesson: Model, Practice, Evaluate
  • Four basic strokes to form all letters (manuscript and cursive)
  • Simple, student-friendly language
  • Consistent sequence of instruction—now available in K–6 for English and Spanish
  • Easy-to-use Teacher Edition with point-of-use support
  • Choice of introducing cursive in grade 2 or grade 3

Curious to see how they all work together?

Download a program overview brochure for both English and Spanish that includes program components, sample Teacher and Student Edition pages, and more!

Download a Zaner-Bloser La escritura brochure for additional Spanish program information.

handwriting textbook

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Contest Logo

Fun Fact: Did you know Zaner-Bloser sponsors an annual handwriting contest?

The Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest recognizes outstanding manuscript and cursive among students in grades K–8! All program users are eligible to enter. Entry packets are available for teachers and administrators to download beginning in October of each year, with submissions due February 14—Valentine's Day! Learn more here!

Why Handwriting?

Research- (Not Reading-) Based

In our digital age, it’s tempting to see handwriting as optional. But handwriting is still a key foundational skill for literacy development. Explicit instruction in handwriting supplements what students may—or may not—be getting from a reading-based program. In fact, Zaner-Bloser programs are proven effective for developing all types of literacy skills, including reading!

Self-generated action, in the form of handwriting, is a crucial component in setting up brain systems for reading acquisition. (James 2010)

Children with stronger fine-motor skills do better not only in literacy tasks such as letter writing, but also in kindergarten math; in addition, these skills are associated with ongoing reading and math achievement as late as fifth grade. (Dinehart, et, al. 2014)

For developmentally typical students in grades 4–7, fluent cursive writing consistently predicted both higher level spelling and composing skills at each grade. (Alstad, et al., 2015)

Research results show that fluency in handwriting is strongly related to the quality and quantity of students’ complex written texts as late as grade 8. (Christensen and Jones, 2013)

People who take handwritten notes process information better than those who type notes on a laptop. (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014) Students who type notes tend to record what they hear verbatim, whereas those who take handwritten notes are more apt to write more reflectively as they translate what they are learning into their own words.

See citations below.

Read more about the importance of handwriting in an excerpt from the © 2020 Teacher Edition.
Download a PDF.

Cursive Conveys Character

Often overlooked in today’s busy classrooms, cursive handwriting is key for continued literacy development in grades 2–6. Did you know?

Cursive may activate parts of the brain that lead to increased language fluency.

Cursive reduces distractions by increasing focus, which also fosters creativity.

Cursive connects us to our past though primary source documents.

Fluent cursive consistently predicts more skillful composing and better spelling at grades 4–7.

Research supports teaching cursive in the middle and adolescent grades. Download a whitepaper to learn more.

Free Holiday Postcards

We’ve designed holiday- and event-themed postcard masters that you can download and print to share with your students. The black and white cards are perfect for coloring (fine-motor skills practice!), and there’s room on the back to write a note.

Thanksgiving postcards

For Thanksgiving Postcards

Winter postcards

For Winter Postcards

catholic practice masters book image

NEW! Catholic Practice Masters

Extend the faith throughout the school day! Strengthen students’ handwriting skills while incorporating Catholic values and vocabulary. Reproducible blackline masters include grade-appropriate practice, from letter basics supported by religious-themed illustrations in kindergarten through more sophisticated Bible names and terms in upper grades.

Download a grade-level sample:

Blackline masters are compatible with any edition of Zaner-Bloser Handwriting.

Request More Information

Interested in learning more about Zaner-Bloser Handwriting or Zaner-Bloser La escritura © 2020? Contact your sales representative directly or fill out the form below.

Alstad, Z., Sanders, E., Abbott, R., Barnett, A., Hendersen, S., Connelly, V., & Berninger, V. (2015). Modes of alphabet letter production during middle childhood and adolescence: Interrelationships with each other and other writing skills. Journal of Writing Research, 6(3), 199–231.
Christensen, C. & Jones, D. (2000). Handwriting: An underestimated skill in the development of written language. Handwriting Today, 2, 56–60.
Dinehart, L. (2014). Handwriting in early childhood education: Current research and future implications. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 15(1), 97–118.
James, K. H. (2010). Sensori-motor experience leads to changes in visual processing in the developing brain, Developmental Science. 13(2), 279–288.
Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The pen is mightier than the laptop: Advantages of longhand over laptop note-taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159–1168.