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Direct Instruction

Good handwriting skills develop from good handwriting instruction

Shop now! Get started with our literacy solutions

Start your handwriting literacy journey today! Browse our shop and find our classroom kits and materials-designed for Pre-K-5 students.

A Developmental Approach

Handwriting Without Tears provides students with the explicit, direct instruction and purposeful practice they need to master handwriting and automaticity.

Automatic letter writing has been shown to be the best predictor of both text length and text quality for elementary school children (Graham et al., 1997; Jones & Christensen, 1999).

Handwriting Without Tears guides students to success with:


  • Developmentally appropriate sequence of instruction
  • Consistent guided practice to develop automaticity and fluency
  • Multisensory components engage visual, audio, kinesthetic learners
  • Hands-on manipulative for developing fine motor and phonics skills
  • Simple, student-friendly, step-by-step language for letter formations

How does Direct Instruction Work?

Handwriting Without Tears' developmentally appropriate instruction is based on research for how children learn best.

Watch and Imitate

The student watches how their teacher writes a letter. Then, they imitate these motions.

Guided Practice

The student looks at the completed model of a letter, word, or sentence, and copies it to match the model.

Independent Practice

The student writes the learned letter, word, or sentence unassisted, without a demonstration or a model.

Support Your Handwriting Instruction

Student Editions

Each member of our family student activity books is filled with lessons and activities designed to reinforce good handwriting habits and build mastery of print, lowercase, and cursive letter forms.

Digital Tools for Direct Instruction

Using the Interactive Digital Teaching Tool, teachers can show animations, music, and videos that support their direct handwriting instruction, including interactive letter formation charts.

Manipulatives for Direct Instruction

A variety of custom, hands-on manipulatives are available to help students practice and visualize letter forms while reinforcing proper grip placement, and other fundamentals that lead to successful handwriting.

Teacher's Guides

In each detailed guide, teachers get comprehensive strategies for print and digital handwriting instruction, including lesson plans for each unit, covering 36 weeks of instruction. 

Eligible for Federal Funding

Handwriting Without Tears® print and digital solution meets ESSA's Tier 2 evidence criteria. Explore how you can use available funds to support reading in your schools.