CONVENER(S): Harvey R Hallenberg
PARTICIPANTS: Fran Gilmore, Marian Shetley, Alivah Shakirah, Laurie Shields, Vanessa Polito, Maria Ditega, Desiree Rosario, Nazneen Vicaruddin, Rhonda R Kamens
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION:
When Harvey first met Dr. and Mrs. Claremont he became fascinated with his hands. In 1963, he took his training from the Claremonts. At the end of the training, Dr. Claremont hired a caligrapher to teach them how to write caligraphy to give them an understanding of what the child went through when he learned to write. As an introduction we discussed that Johann Guttenberg's invented the printing press in Germany, but interest in the technology took off in Italy. They used the press to print everything. this caused literacy to spread. The first books were handwritten. Italic chancery hand came out of this. Chancery Hand gets the name from the chanceries that kept the important dates. Queen Elizabeth I started writing in Italic chancery hand. Round cursive handwriting started later.
The elementary child begins to recognize beauty. Maria Montessori believed that every child should aquire a craft skill before going through puberty, like calligraphy, crocheting, or knitting.
You can have the child to learn to write in pencil first. When it has an Italic look, give them a pen. You can introduce other styles of decorative writing that is esthetically pleasing. Mrs. Claremont said you can teach any technique to 6-9 as long as you have a set of sandpaper letters of each. Romans wrote in block capitals. They did not have and punctation or spaces between words. Later they put dots between the words. It is interesting to note that the child goes through this process in development naturally. Many children start with all their works put together and later put dots between the words. You can start your history of writing with block letters. Explore these things with Upper Elementary children. Always relate it to history.
Have your children create their own anthology: collections of favorite poems, stories etc.
Calligraphy has a mathematical kind of spacing. The width of the nib is the guide. An a is five nibs wide. An ascender is 5 nibs wide. A descender is 5 nibs wide. Use graph paper. Do 3 or 4 on a line. This is done in an individual lesson. Point out the characteristics of each letter. Example: The top of the 'a' is flat. It has an angular look. Have them exaggerate the angularity if they do it too round. Urge the child to practice one letter at a time. Older child likes more variety. For them alternate every 2 or 3 lines. Always have them choose and circle their most beautiful choice. This will help them develop their own esthetic views.