photo 3am_dj_home_zps919fb85e.png photo 3am_dj_about_zps7cce4c75.png photo 3am_dj_website_zps73051235.png photo 3am_dj_ss_zps6759ec2a.png photo 3am_dj_bs_zps43e27832.png

Saturday, August 5, 2017


One of my favorite pre-writing activities at the beginning of the school year is called “Writing Round the Mulberry Bush.” I clearly remember where I got this idea. About 15 years ago I was doing a workshop in Huntsville, Texas. A young teacher said, “My mentor needs to tell you how she teaches handwriting. Her kids have the best handwriting in the school.” Well, she grabbed my attention and when I asked the older teacher her secret she smiled and said they practiced “Writing Round the Mulberry Bush” several weeks before introducing letters.

Basically, you have children make the strokes as shown on a blank piece of paper as they sing the different verses to the song “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.” It makes sense because children need to go from top to bottom and left to right as they learn to master simple strokes.


Good teaching is good teaching, and I’m going to let Denise Brackenridget Brownlee tell you how she adapts this activity in her classroom.

At the beginning of the year we did not begin by writing names. Instead we began with your “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” song. We incorporated the song in a multi-step process.

1st We began by singing the song on the carpet. As we sang, I would write the marks on the board. After many exposures, children would join me by writing it with 2 fingers on the carpet or in the air.

2nd We then transitioned to the salt trays. Children had the opportunity to explore the salt. We also discussed how to gently shake the tray to "erase" your writing. We began by using fingers to draw as we sang. Then we transitioned to unsharpened pencils.



As you can see in the photos, children were at various skill levels and worked at different paces. I sang the song slowly as I would walk around the table to assist children with the direction they were writing.

3rd In our final step we moved to a worksheet that I created. As we sang the song, we now drew the marks in the boxes. I would model this as well. I kept a paper from the 2nd or 3rd day in their portfolio. We worked on this process for a couple of weeks. It was pretty amazing to see the difference from the first worksheet to a worksheet a few weeks later. Later on I was able to tie the concepts that we used with Mulberry Bush into name writing.

Note! I did this activity right before parent conferences. It was a great way to demonstrate to families how much their child's fine motor skills were developing.

I loved how much we were able to incorporate this song into so much of what we did. The kids greatly enjoyed it and it was valuable as a writing foundation in my TK classroom.