Pencil Grip is Less Important than Letter Formation and Speed

  • 28 October 2018

The increased use of computers and tablets in schools and at home has shifted educational focus toward a child’s keyboard skills rather than handwriting. Children are still expected to learn how to write by hand, but the importance of letter formation and speed is often overlooked.

A study, published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, found that the kinetics, speed, and legibility of writing were not different among children who used four different types of pencil grips after ten minutes of writing.

Photo credit: Photo reference: Koziatek, Susan M., and Nancy J. Powell. 2003. “Pencil Grips, Legibility, and Speed of Fourth-Graders’ Writing in Cursive.” The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 57(3):284–88.The findings suggest that a child’s pencil grip is less important than their ability to correctly form letters at various speeds. The researcher found no kinetic differences among the four commonly occurring pencil grips: dynamic tripod, dynamic quadrupod, lateral...


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