The first hour-long meeting of my 12-session Introduction to Calligraphy class for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders met last week. As is usual in my work with children, the students exceeded my expectations both in what they already knew—someone defined calligraphy as “a different kind of writing, a more careful way to write”—and in how quickly they grasped the workings of the broad-edged pen, the calligrapher’s basic tool and the key to making the beautiful thick & thin strokes that define various calligraphic hands (styles). Italic, blackletter, uncial, and round hands can be seen here:
We used double-pencils (two pencils tied together with rubber bands) held an a constant angle to make lines like the one illustrated here:
The double-pencils reinforced both the need to apply equal pressure to both sides of the edged tool, and the need to work at a sufficient (larger) size.
Students progressed from making basic warm-up marks, to elegant lines of patterns, then to the round alphabet.
As a preview, I passed out two felt-tip calligraphy pens for students to test out.
This student has a good eye for layout on the page (something we didn’t discuss yet):
This student already analyzes her work (!):
At this age, students aren’t shy about saying what interests them. I will introduce several hands and applications early on into our meetings to let each student choose her own path of experimentation. Check back in a month or two to see the progress.