Early Years · Language and literacy skills · Skills for school

Pencil Grasp Story Booklet

I mentioned this in the post on Fine Motor Support for Writing, but I didn’t have a digital copy and couldn’t find it to share online without anyone wanting to download for free having to jump through hoops, so I’ve made one. Please feel free to share and adapt.


Peter Pilot – click for free editable download

I first received a copy some years ago after referring a pupil to occupational therapy (OT). It was one of my first referrals, at the start of my learning support career, and I was just finding out how much there is to learn from working with other professionals. Over the years I have picked up many invaluable tips from brilliant practitioners, including OTs and speech and language therapists (SaLTs). Anyone who has worked with me will tell you that I love to share these at every opportunity…

I have reproduced the pages as they were given to me in hard copy. The full text and pictures takes up two sheets of A4. There are guidelines to cut the story into equal pages so that it can be made into a booklet. I laminated the cut strips and used a comb binder – the one I based this copy on is over 5 years old and has had quite a lot of use!

The story may seem simplistic, but I have had good success using it with children from Reception (age 4-5) up to Year 3 (age 7-8). I’ve used it 1:1, in small groups and even in whole class situations – if one person delivers the original story to the whole cohort, then everyone has had the same input and class teachers/teaching assistants can reinforce afterwards. We had a ‘reference’ copy in each classroom at my last school.

It’s pretty self-evident when you read the story,

The cast:

Peter Pilot – index finger

Polly (co-pilot) – thumb

Max – middle finger

Passengers – other fingers

Peter sits on top of the pencil and guides it, Polly sits next to Peter and assists. Max is supporting everything underneath, and the passengers are comfortably curled up against the palm.

Of course, there is a multitude of other ideas out there, innumerable grips that can be slid onto the pencil, specially shaped pencils, etc. but this might be a good place to start.

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