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Home » Blog » Writing & Language » Writing Instruction » Back to Basics: Letter Formation for 2nd Grade

Back to Basics: Letter Formation for 2nd Grade

Literacy, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction

Written by: Katie Palmer

More and more teachers have been talking about how they are seeing student letter formation getting worse and worse. Is this due to missing in-school handwriting instruction? Or maybe it’s due to the large amount of tech being used in daily life? Whatever the reason, teachers are searching for tips and tricks to help their students fix letter formation. Below is a list of tried and true letter formation practice ideas to help your students get those letters fixed (even ideas for b and d reversals!)

Letter Reversals

“Hands On” Idea

One of the most common letter formation struggles is letter reversals. Reversals can happen with any letter but two that happen A LOT in 2nd grade are bs and ds. Brainspring has an AMAZING idea using a visualization technique to help kids remember how to write those two pesky letters!

letter formation tips and tricks for older students including a strategy for b and d reversals
Learn more about this strategy at

Songs & Videos

Try these engaging songs for some b & d formation practice!

Letter Formation Practice

Once students have their reversals fixed (or are working on it) it is time to have them start perfecting their letter formations. There are several ways to practice this skill. Here are some teacher favorites!

Handwriting with Jokes

We all know students LOVE a good joke. (The cheesier the better!) One of Lucky Little Learner’s newest products is Jokes and Facts Handwriting Pages. These handwriting pages look more “grown up” than simply practicing one letter per page. Plus, it gives students a joke to bring home to share at the dinner table!

joke of the day handwriting sheets

One fun way to incorporate this resource into your classroom would be by using the joke from the selected handwriting page as part of your morning message. Then, later give students the handwriting page. They will love that it is the same joke! (Jokes are just one way to make morning meetings great! Check out this blog post for even more engaging morning meeting ideas: 10 Morning Message Ideas. )

Editable Handwriting Practice

Teachers looking for something specific may opt to create their own handwriting worksheets. These sheets can feature the letters students are struggling with, or even their names, a school name or geography locations (hello cross-curricular). One website that is used frequently by teachers is Worksheets Works. What a great way to differentiate and individualize letter formation practice! They have a free handwriting worksheet maker so teachers can customize sheets for the specific needs of their class.

Back to the Basics

For students who truly struggle with letter formation, it is important to take it back to the basics with explicit instruction on each letter. Teachers can do this during a small group or writing conference if it is not a whole class need. With this one-on-one practice, students and teachers are sure to get results! If students will be working on letter formation as an independent station, these videos will be super helpful for them to follow along with! Here are more activities for daily fine motor practice.

Hopefully these strategies will get students forming letters correctly, and laughing along the way! Happy teaching!


toothy task kits

Jokes & Facts Handwriting Practice Pages

letter formation tips and tricks for 2nd graders


  1. Cherie Southard

    Do you have these available in D’Nealian Style? Thank you.

    • Bailey Jordan

      Hi Cherie!
      Thank you so much for asking, at this time we do not but this is something we may potentially add in the future. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

  2. Lynda

    Thank you for this resource. Most second graders don’t think they need handwriting practice, but boy do they (definitely not all, but enough to warrant direct instruction and practice). Thank you for this resource to make those who do not need the practice, or think they don’t need the practice, interesting and fun.

  3. Nutenna

    Do you have anything like this for students to practice cursive?

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Nutenna, I am sorry but we do not have a cursive resource at this time.


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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