Using Scissors Like a Pro

Goal: Assess and enhance a core skill and reinforce safety guidelines.

Using Scissors Like a Pro
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Using Scissors Like a Pro

Contributed by Angel Thompson


Assess and enhance a core skill and reinforce safety guidelines


  • Ask, who knows how to use scissors
  • Pick up our scissors and hold them to use 
  • 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 tables/desks.

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 in ready for what’s next.

Classroom Arrangement

Students at desks/tables attention on front of 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 their side can be used to steady the scissor hand

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  • Provide information whether a student has had OT training on scissor use (or if anyone needs assistive scissors) 
  • Adults in the room can assist in adjusting hand positions as needed
  • A 1/1 para 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

Remote Adaptation

It’s possible to do this activity essentially 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