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Holding the Pencil



The main aim of this thread within the Kinetic Letters lessons is to develop "strategies for learning, self-correcting and maintaining an optimal pencil hold for comfortable, fluent and legible writing" (Margaret Williamson)

The ultimate function of a pencil hold is that it allows the writer to write at a good pace for a long period of time, without pain or discomfort. (Margaret Williamson)

Kinetic Letters teaches a way of holding the pencil that is comfortable and allows children to write fast and legibly. 

Optimal Pencil Hold

The strong lower half of the hand and the 'Resting Fingers', create a stable base of support on which the more dextrous fingers, 'The Three Friends', can manipulate the pencil.


Picking up the pencil

Picking up the pencil

The children are encouraged to complete 'pencil checks' including;

1. Are my 'Holding Fingers' level with each other?

2. Can I see a little pencil colour between my 'Holding Fingers'?

3. Is my 'Pillow Finger' underneath?

4. Is my pencil laying across my hand?

Left and Right Handed Optimal Pencil Hold

Left and Right Handed Optimal Pencil Hold

Right and left-handed children use the same routine for picking up a pencil and placing their fingers around it.  Left-handed children need to hold the pencil further from the tip than right-handed children to help them see what is being written.

Aid for 'Holding the Pencil' - Curly the Caterpillar

A 'blu-tac' caterpillar helps maintain the gap between the fingers as no one wants to squash Curly the caterpillar! 

squash a caterpillar