Using Scissors Like a Pro

This activity helps students learn how to use scissors safely and effectively.

Using Scissors Like a Pro

Using Scissors Like a Pro

Contributed by Angel Thompson


This activity helps students learn how to use scissors safely and effectively.


  • Ask students if they know how to use scissors.
  • Pick up scissors and hold them.
  • Show the hand you will use.
  • A helpful technique should be shown on how to cut some lines.
  • Solicit suggestions from students that demonstrate their understanding of how to hold scissors.
  • Demonstrate how to cut along the second line with caution.

Transition into Activity

“Everyone hold up your writing hand as if it’s a pair of scissors; cut the air with it. Now, using your hand scissors, cut your way back to sit at your table/desk.”

Transition out of Activity

Ask a student to identify where scissors are stored. Model how scissors are put away or ask a student to model. You can play a song that helps cue for students when scissors should be put away and they should be ready for what’s next.

Classroom Arrangement

Students at desks/tables; attention on the front of the room.

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Allow extra time for a response when asking questions.
  • Affirmations can be communicated verbally, physically, or with a device.
  • Specially modified scissors may be appropriate for some students.
  • Simple printed instructions with illustrations of scissors being held properly and indicating the helper hand moving.
  • Resting one’s arm on the table instead of against one’s side can be used to steady the scissor hand.

Possible Roles for Classroom Professionals

  • Provide information on whether a student has had training on scissor use (or if anyone needs assistive scissors). 
  • Assist in adjusting hand positions as needed.
  • A 1:1 Paraprofessional can perform the task of the “helper hand,” moving the paper while the student works the scissors.
  • Assist in handing out or collecting supplies as needed.

Adjustments for Remote Instruction

It’s possible to do this activity as is, if students have appropriate scissors available remotely. It would be important to identify what kind of scissors are appropriate to use. Ideally, there would be an adult or older sibling in the room depending on students’ ages.

Art forms


10 mins