Let’s face it – cursive isn’t taught in classrooms like it use to be. Gone are the days of writing papers in cursive. With the integration of computers and automation, cursive has seemed less important. But is it? The truth is cursive still has its place. I tell my students every year, the greatest tragedy to me, would be them not being able to read the Declaration of Independence if they went to National Archives. They don’t need to write perfectly in cursive, but they do need to know how to read and write it.
Even upper elementary students need to work on their fine motor skills. Refining grasping and controlling motion are further developed using cursive. And I have a few kiddos who still need work in this area. No – cursive, like printing, doesn’t have to be exemplar, however, it is a form of communication, so it needs to be legible.
Why should cursive become a dying art. As a teacher, I want to educate my students. If I had time and the knowledge, I would teach them some ancient sandskrit. Learning builds education. We have important documents and papers that are written in cursive. We don’t want to go back to the day where only scholars could translate what is on the page.
Finally, cursive is still used with legal documents. It may only be a signature, but students will need to sign papers for a mortgage on their home, file tax returns, and sign checks or releases at a medical office. I just don’t see those situations eliminating the use of cursive.
I live in California and cursive is still in our standards, but surprisingly many teachers don’t teach it. This is why I wanted to address the benefits of continually teaching cursive. Since I am a 4/5 combo class, I use different cursive activities based on Social Studies for each grade level. I do an introductory unit introducing all the letters and then I do a differentiated project where students publish a cursive book. The cursive books are content based, so students are not only practicing cursive, they are learning content at the same time.
So if you teach in upper elementary school, cursive should be one of your curriculum areas. It doesn’t take too much time, especially if you work on it all year. You could dedicate a few minutes a week to it and your students would be better for it.
Thanks for stopping in. Check in next week, where I will take you down Memory Lane!