Every Student

LS&W1 - Fine Motor Skills - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

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Teaching Opportunities

Technology sessions
Leisure time
Work tasks
Creative play
Art activities
Cooking sessions


Teaching Resources

Various apps
Threading activities
Small Lego blocks
Shoebox Tasks
Pick-up sticks
Padlock boards
Modified glove
Marbles & golf tees
Clothesline and pegs
Buttoning activities
Augmentative communication supports
Interactive touch screen devices


Levels Of Support

Full Physical Assistance (FP) »
Partial Physical Assistance (PP) »
Modelled Response (M) »
Gesture/Sign (G/S) »
Verbal (V) »
Independent (I) »


Programming Proforma

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Assessment Strategies

Peer and self assessment»


Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

ENe-3A A student produces most lower case and upper case letters and uses digital technologies to construct texts

ENe-4A A student demonstrates developing skills and strategies to read, view and comprehend short, predictable texts on familiar topics in different media and technologies

ENe-7B A student recognises some different purposes for writing and that own texts differ in various ways

Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-2A A student communicates for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-5A A student recognises and uses visual texts media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-8A A student writes short texts for everyday purposes

ENLS-11B A student composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts

HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS5.1 Copies symbols, pictures, letters or words

HSC LS5.3 Writes and transfers specific information using standard formats

Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content Students:

-develop basic skills of writing, including correct pencil grip, good posture, handwriting movements and accurate use of alternative writing tools, to form some lower case and upper case letters 3A

-use simple functions of keyboard and mouse, including typing letters, scrolling, selecting icons and dropdown menus 3A

-experiment using digital technologies e.g. produce own name, commonly used words and simple sentences 3A



Life Skills (ENLS) Content Students:

-complete personal details in a range of formats for a variety of purposes 8A

-recognise the range of conventions used in written texts 8A

-write short texts using correct conventions 8A

-write own name 8A

-write signature in consistent form 8A

-construct short texts using visual aids and/or appropriate technology 8A

-write short texts 8A

-transfer information from one source to another 8A

-write about familiar topics for everyday purposes 8A

HSC Life Skills (LS) Content Students:

-write their own names in signature format or equivalent by hand or using technology 5.3

-write, using technology, to request information 5.3


English Learning Continuum Content

Strengthens fine motor skills (palmer to pincer)

Uses conventional movements to access technology (swipe, click, drag)


Strengthens fine motor skills (palmer to pincer)

Demonstrate the correct way to use a pincer grip to pick up, hold or manipulate a variety of objects such as string, buttons, pegs or pick-up sticks. Allow students to engage with these materials on a regular basis. Develop games that require repetitive use of a pincer grip. These could include sorting items into colours, putting objects into a slot or hole or threading items. Commercially made products such as Shoebox Tasks ™ could also be used to develop a pincer grip.  Other ideas that will strengthen fine motor skills include:


Button Snakes - threading squares of felt onto a length of ribbon with a button on the end of it. This idea and accompanying photo are reproduced from the blog Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers. Using padlocks and keys
Placing elastic bands around objects such as door knobs or tubes. This idea and the accompanying photo are reproduced with permission from the blog Chasing Cheerios. Placing marbles on top of golf tees standing in a firm piece of foam. This idea and accompanying photo are reproduced with permission from MaryLea Harris at Pink and Green Mama.
Stretching elastic bands to create patterns on a geo-board Zipping and unzipping various sized zippers sewn onto material. This idea and accompanying photo are reproduced from the blogServing Pink Lemonade.

Using cotton balls to daub paint onto a picture or piece of paper. Placing buttons along printed letters or the outline of favoured images.

Putting pick up sticks into the holes of an upside down strainer. Visit The Crafty Crow for a variation of this task. Visit our LS&W1 Pinterest board for more ideas and links.

Uses a single finger to access technology (swipe, click, drag)

Incorporate swipe, click and drag into lessons that utilise technology such as morning or afternoon circle. Skills should be taught to a student on one technological device at a time. Explicitly teach a student to swipe, click or drag by providing the least amount of support required. Fade this support until the student independently uses these conventional movements to access technology. Explicitly teach the student to generalise these movements to other types of technological devices. You may need to provide support on each new device until the student swipes, clicks and drags independently.


Encourage the use of a single finger to access interactive touch screen devices by putting a glove with the index finger cut off onto a student’s hand. This will ensure the student only uses the exposed finger as most touch screens will not respond to a touch from any of the covered fingers. This idea and the accompanying photo are reproduced with permission from Dana Nieder at The Uncommon Sense Blog.


Play a variety of interactive games, activities and apps which require conventional movements to access the technology. These include:

  • Keyboard and Mouse skills- OwlieBoo Website
  • Drag and drop skills – Drag and Drop, Buzzle, KidzBlox1,
  • Pony Drag and Drop, PM Reader software
  • Touch and release skills – Sound Touch app, Fireworks app, Tap Tap Ants app, Touchpet apps, Rat on a Scooter app, PM Reader software, ChooseIt Software
  • Swipe skill – Talking Ginger (Free), Swipe Soccer app, Soccer Kick app, Animix app
  • Click skill - PM Readers, Starfall Website, HelpKidz Learn Website






Key Assessment Points



  • The level of prompting required for the student to complete a task should always be recorded.
  • Observation could occur throughout the school day in a variety of activities or during a structured assessment task. This could be captured on video or in photos and recorded in skill checklists/rubrics for analysis.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as occupational therapists could provide additional assessment information.


Suggested Apps


Pony Drag and Drop
Drag and Drop
KidzBlox HD
Rat on a Scooter
Sound Touch
Tap Bugs
Soccer Kick