Drawing, running, and handwriting are among the most observable motor activities that a student does every day. Tying shoelaces, typing on a computer, playing an instrument, or kicking and catching a ball are also activities that require students to coordinate muscles so that they move quickly and accurately.

When students are learning to write or kick or do any the above activities, they need to send signals from their brain to the muscles that make their legs or fingers move appropriately. Hopefully, with practice, these motor activities become automatic and a student will be able to move the needed muscles without thinking about them. There are three types of motor abilities:

  • Gross motor abilities involve moving large muscles and coordinating the whole body to move in a particular way such as when playing a sport, riding a bicycle, or dancing to music.
  • Fine motor abilities involve coordinating the fingers to work accurately and quickly when creating and constructing things, for example, when drawing a cartoon, turning a microscope knob, eating with a fork, or coloring a picture.
  • Graphomotor abilities involve coordinating the small muscles at the ends of a student?s fingers that help form letters while writing.

To look more closely at motor mastery: