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Fine Motor Skills, Handwriting, and Literacy Readiness

January 12, 2022 | Sossi Essajanian

Many skills form the foundation of various types of expression such as drawing, writing, reading pictures, and telling stories.

This work includes:

  • Fine motor strength
  • Learning right from left
  • Identifying all the lines and curves to build letters
  • Building Mat Man to support drawing skills

Left and Right

Learning right from left is a skill that supports early literacy.

Through experiences, children learn “sidedness” of their body and these become the building blocks of spatial awareness and orientation (where things are in the space around us). This leads to seeing differences in numbers, letters, and words. Distinguishing left and right also supports children’s understanding of how two objects may relate to each other.

Lines and Curves to Build Letters

Children learned about the four types of lines and curves that can be used to make any English letter:

Big Line
Little Line
Big Curve
Little Curve

The children played a mystery bag game where they pulled out a line or curve, identified it then sorted it.

A final touch: polishing them! This added another sensory experience with the lines and curves.

Working with lines and curves in these ways will help children develop handwriting skills like letter formation.

Mat Man for Drawing

Building Mat Man supports skills like body awareness, sequencing, placement, and spacial reasoning.

Mat Man also provides a blue-print for drawing a person. After using lines and curves to build Mat Man, children can use the model to accurately portray the human body.

Building Words

Children used their knowledge of lines and curves to build the letters of their names… and even names of people in their family!


H has a little line. I’m going to do the little line first. Little line, big line, big line!


Finally the children worked on their fine motor skills while forming letters of their name. Since they knew all the names of the lines and curves, they then learned how to use them for form and directionality.


How do you draw an E?

Big line down

Frog jump to Smiley

Little line across the top

Little line across the middle

Little line across the bottom!

Sossi Essajanian

Teacher, Sky Class

Sossi Essajanian is excited to continue her teaching and learning journey at the Mustard Seed School. She began teaching at the United Nations International School where she worked with children and colleagues from around the world. This inspired her to take a primary teaching position abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, where she lived and worked for two years.

Ms. Essajanian has a passion for supporting children’s social/emotional skills and learning through a loving and caring classroom community. These are built on creating shared understandings and opportunities for children to identify and express their feelings and of those around them. She believes in creating experiences through pair and group work where learning blossoms through social experiences.

Ms. Essajanian also enjoys reading and talking about books and continues to pursue her second passion: editing. She’s worked in various editorial capacities in newspapers, magazines, and books. She was recently excited to serve as the development editor of a children’s book about engineering and is looking forward to leading some tinkering investigations of her own with her students!

In her free time Ms. Essajanian runs, swims laps, and likes to take long walks to explore the world around her.

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