Did you ever notice that the English language uses some combinations of letters much more often than others?
For instance, the letter pair “th” is used so often in written English that it makes up more than 7% of written English, Meanwhile, hardly any words use certain other letter combinations such as “xk” or “jw.”
In fact, just 50 pairs of letters make up more than 84% of written English. (In case you’re curious, you can click here to see a list.)
So it would be possible to practice recognizing different letter combinations in cursive by going through a list of letter pairs, written in cursive … but that would take a while!
An easier and quicker way to practice recognizing those most common English letter pairs, in cursive, is to read through this very short list of words which includes all of those most common letter pairs:
THE GLADSTONE 22-WORD LIST — These words contain the letter pairs that make up over 84% of written English.
Teachers or parents can put these words into sentences to use for practicing cursive reading. Here are some examples:
If reading a few words and sentences in cursive wasn’t enough of a challenge for you, how about reading a list of first names? Watch out — some of these are unusual and tricky!
THE GLADSTONE 52-NAME LIST: This list of 52 first names includes every uppercase and lowercase letter in our alphabet.
If you’d like even more practice, how about an even longer list? This next list covers 85% of the mathematically possible pairs of two letters In our alphabet. (The 15% of possible letter pairs that aren’t included words in this list are the ones that you are not likely to find in your everyday reading: such as “qh” and other really unusual pairs.)
THE GLADSTONE 264-WORD LIST: The words on this list provide 85% of the mathematically possible letter pairs in our alphabet. (NOTE: To ensure easier display, this list has been uploaded as two separate graphics. Zoom in to see every detail.)
Teachers and parents can use the words on this list to help create reading materials that provide intensive practice and experience in reading cursive.