D’Nealian worksheets are currently widely used in kindergartens and primary schools to teach handwriting.
D’Nealian handwriting worksheet is a writing and teaching technique for print (block) and cursive handwriting. It was created to make learning print and cursive handwriting easier. D’Nealian was created by Donald Thurber, who did it while working as a primary school teacher. When taught to children, D’Nealian cursive handwriting is reportedly easier to master, and students pick up the ability more quickly and readily with less irritation than with typical cursive writing systems.
The approach was created as a means of addressing the issues associated with teaching kids cursive writing using the conventional Zaner-Bloser Script method. The manuscript form of D’Nealian Script is distinctive in that it resembles the cursive variant heavily.
On Worksheetzone, you can find hundreds of D’nealian handwriting worksheets free to teach your kids. Moreover, you can use our available D’nealian worksheet templates to customize your own or start making a new one from scratch with our free worksheet maker!
Donald N. Thurber earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He was born on December 15, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan, and passed away on January 6, 2020, in Monroe, Michigan. In Luna Pier, he started instructing primary school students in 1953. In 1961, Thurber explored what he believed to be the absurdity of handwriting instruction in the US while teaching first grade. He created the D’Nealian Method starting in 1965 as an alternative to the then-current teaching scripts. The D’Nealian Method is named after the contraction of Thurber’s first name and middle name (“Neal”). In 1978, Thurber’s method of writing was first made available to the general public in the US. Thurber eventually stepped down as Chapman Elementary School’s principal in 1984.
The Palmer Method of handwriting is the ancestor of the D’Nealian Method, which uses an alphabet divided into two sets, one for print writing (sometimes known as “manuscript printing”) and the other for cursive writing. In contrast to the slant of 85 degrees, measured counterclockwise from the baseline, which does not alter at all, thirteen letters change shape between print and cursive.
Thurber created the D’Nealian Approach to solve the issues associated with teaching kids the conventional script method and the subsequent challenges associated with moving from script to cursive writing.
Students are first taught a style of print writing developed by Thurber before studying the D’Nealian Method of handwriting. The letters used in D’Nealian print writing resemble those used in cursive writing quite a bit. The second step involves adding what are known as “monkey tails.”
The Zaner-Bloser Method, which had previously been widely used, had a dramatic fall in popularity after the D’Nealian Method was established in 1978. Theoretically, D’Nealian writing is simpler for kids to learn and master than standard cursive writing.
It has been stated that the Zaner-Bloser or D’Nealian alphabets are taught to about 90% of US kids who follow the conventional print-then-cursive handwriting method.
A key issue with Thurber’s system is the manner of letter formation. The addition of so-called “monkey tails” to print writing as learners progress to cursive writing effectively adds a further step to the teaching and learning path. While some find such an additional step beneficial for a smooth transition from print writing to cursive, others view it as unnecessarily complicating how children are taught to write.
Another common issue is that D’Nealian is taught extremely early, to first and second-grade students, many of whom are still learning the rudiments of print writing. At times, some school districts have abruptly changed their teaching of handwriting, possibly causing difficulties for students who must then adapt to a different style.
A 1993 research review by Steve Graham concludes that “there is no credible evidence” that D’Nealian makes a difference in children’s handwriting. He also states that D’Nealian creates practical problems for teachers (who must themselves learn the system and defend it to parents) and that it requires many young children to unlearn writing forms that they have already developed before formal instruction.
However, D’Nealian is still popular to this day. Many teachers and parents are using D’nealian handwriting worksheets as a teaching resource. If you are finding them ỏ any other handwriting worksheets for your kids, they are always available on Worksheetzone.
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