Cursive Cut-outs

I posted this les­son awhile back as “Name Aliens”, but I’ve since fig­ured out a bet­ter way to teach this, so I improved the direc­tions. As soon as kids can write their names in cur­sive, they’re ready to cre­ate these whim­si­cal crea­tures! To make “bugs”, just add six legs instead of two! (Adapted from the book, “Paper Designs” by Jerome C. Brown)
Can you guess what name this is?? See answer below!


  • 2 — 9x12 pieces of con­struc­tion paper in con­trast­ing colors
  • pen­cil and eraser
  • col­ored pen­cil or crayon
  • scis­sors
  • glue stick
  • black con­struc­tion paper scraps
  • “Jig­gle” eyes

1. First, choose which color you want for your back­ground and set it aside.
2. Fold the other paper in half length­wise (the “hot dog way”), then open it up and lay it flat.
3. Using a pen­cil, write your name on the fold in cur­sive. (You will want to check stu­dents’ work to con­firm that they wrote their names on the fold!)
4. Next, use a crayon or col­ored pen­cil to out­line all of your let­ters, includ­ing inside the loops of let­ters, such as the cur­sive “e”, “l”, “s”, etc.
5. Now, re-fold your paper, and with the upper half of your name on top, cut out your name on the fold along the out­line you just drew with crayon. (You will be cut­ting right over any descen­ders that fall below the base­line of your name.) Be sure to cut out any inside shapes, too.
6. Then, open up your paper and glue it onto your back­ground, with the crayon side down.
7. Finally, add arms, legs/feet, and anten­nae by cut­ting two pieces of black paper at the same time (not on the fold this time!) to get a match­ing set. Add “jig­gle eyes” to com­plete the effect!

(Answer: The name pic­tured above is “Judy”!)


3 Responses to Cursive Cut-outs

  1. Becca Ruth August 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been look­ing for some more “Name” projects for the first weeks of school! I have done the “Name Aliens” many times and love them, but I really like this new twist!

  2. Phyl August 19, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Very nice way to start the year. Can you tell us what grade level made these?

  3. TeachKidsArt August 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    I usu­ally do these with third grade, but as soon as they can write their names in cur­sive, they’re ready! (The boys LOVE this project!!)

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