Mark Making


ELA Monthly Pacing Guide:

Essential Practice: Mark Making, Drawing, and Writing, Handwriting Practice

Domain: Physical Development & the Mechanics of Writing, Print Concepts & Artistic Expression

Children will use artistic expression materials to represent lines and shapes forming letters.

Teachers will demonstrate the successful use of materials and reinforce line vocabulary and shape names.

  • Cut on a line
  • Recognize and name the upper and lowercase letters in their name
  • Explore the sounds of the letters in their names
  • Sequence the letters in their name (with or without a model)
  • Glue them in order

Working with children’s names is a highly motivating way to introduce children to letter naming and letter-sound recognition.  Our Writing Centers should be equipped with children’s name cards (initially with pictures), so they can begin to identify their own and their peers’ names in print. Children will need many opportunities to manipulate the letters in their names while teachers help them identify each letter’s names and sounds.

Create multiple name strips for each child’s name—use title case with the first letter in uppercase and remaining letters in lowercase. If you make the strips on the computer, use a font that forms letters the way we teach children to write them. Century Gothic will work!

Tray with children names printed on strips of paper
Tray with name strip and scissors
Child cutting up their name strip


  1. Have the child read the letters of their name on the name strip.  Say the letter names and have the child repeat when needed.
  2. Have the child cut apart the letters, cutting on lines, and support safe cutting as needed.
  3. Prompt child to name the letters out of order.
  4. Have child build name, placing the pieces on a strip of colored or fancy paper.
  5. Assess for accuracy.
  6. If needed, provide a model and ask the child to reorder according to the model.  Scaffold and support until the name is sequenced correctly. 
  7. Have child glue name in place, maintaining order. 
  8. Play with and reinforce letter names and sounds throughout this work.
Child receiving hand over hand scissor guidance from teacher
Child's name strip cut up and glued on  a piece of paper


While children are doing their work, take quick notes of their understanding during the various steps.  Creating a checklist is an efficient way to record this information.

Assessment checklist


Year-Long Trajectory

The Year-Long Trajectory is your scope and sequence for learning experiences across the year.