## Sunday, October 14, 2018

### DO YOU KNOW HARRY HORIZONTAL AND VENNY VERTICAL?

Sometimes I think we put the cart before the horse.  What am I talking about?  Well, we start letter writing before children even know what "curve," "line," " horizontal," or "vertical" mean.  Here are some basic terms children need to be familiar with.

What’s a line? What’s a curve?
Start by finding out what children know about lines and curves. Let them take turns drawing lines and curves on the board. Can they walk around the room and touch a line? Can they touch a curve? As you walk down the hall have them silently point to lines and curves. Can they find lines and curves in nature on the playground?

Play Dough
Draw lines and curves with a permanent marker on placemats or plastic plates. Let children roll the dough and place it on top of the lines and curves.

Letter Sort
What letters are made from lines? Curves? Lines and curves? Let children sort magnetic letters on the board or for a center activity.

I love this song that two teachers taught me several years ago.

Horizontal, Vertical (Carrie O’Bara and Terri Miller)
(Tune: “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
Horizontal, horizontal,
(Forearms held up horizontally in front of chest.)
Vertical, vertical.
(Forearms bent at elbows to form right angles.)
Horizontal, horizontal,
Vertical, vertical.

Then diagonal, then diagonal.
(Right arm slants in front and then left.)
(Make a “c” with right hand and then left.)
Then diagonal, then diagonal.

Harry Horizontal and Venny Vertical
Children will never forget horizontal and vertical with these friends!

Practice Books
This is a super idea to help children learn to track from left to right and practice pre-writing strokes. Lay 4 sheets of paper on top of each other and staple four times along the left side. Cut horizontal lines to make four skinny books. Children practice drawing horizontal lines, vertical lines, curves, and diagonal lines on each page.

Artsy
Prepare sheets of paper ahead of time with random curves and lines made with a black marker. Children choose a sheet of paper and try and create a design or object from the lines and curves on their page. *Encourage them to fill in the whole page.