These are the results from this years attempt at ribbon letters. It starts with cursive, finished as a 3-d ribbon! Check out this previous post for the details on how that is done.
1. Cursive. Students are supposed to learn this in 2-3rd grade, but some do not have practice. I print out an example Cursive alphabet for them to use. This one is called D'Nealian, a offshoot of Palmer Method.
Each student picks a name, phrase, etc that is at least 5 letters long. They can capitalize the first letter, but the illusion of a single flowing ribbon is better captured if the rest are a string of lowercase letters.
2. The 3-d illusion begins by picking a direction and length. I like using about 1 inch, and up to the left at 45 degrees. Students will draw small extensions off each corner or rounded edge at the chosen angle and length, with one caveat: If something else gets in the way, the line stops. this helps make the illusion of OVERLAPPING.
3. The line component of the illusion is completed by finishing off the back edges. Basically, you re-create the curves so it remains the same distance away from the original. the original curve is in between the lines you created on the original cursive lettering. See the examples below with the name Carthage.
4. Value: I usually have students use markers to outline the design and use colored pencils to fill in with value. Gradual shading from light to dark helps the ribbon look rounded. Also, when a student switches from one ribbon section to another one touching, they need to switch from light to dark, or vice versa. this gives the greatest amount contrast to showcase the 3-d lines.
Cursive Lettering 20
3-d lines correct 20
on ribbon 30