French-ruled paper is the school standard in France and an exception in the world. Its U.S. equivalent would be the college-ruled paper. French-ruled is also known as “Grands Carreaux” (large squares) paper or “Seyes” paper, named after the Parisian librarian who patented this grid system in 1892.
This grid system is made of 8mm x 8mm squares (about 5⁄16 of an inch), with thinner horizontal lines spaced 2mm apart (about 5⁄64 of an inch ). There is room at the top and bottom of the pages for notes or teacher’s comments and a margin on the left marked with a vertical red line.
French children are taught how to write in cursive with the help of a few rules and the Seyes grid : letters are all written on the baseline and will follow 4 rules depending on their heights :
1 – The small letters : they fit between 2 lines. Only exceptions is the dot of the i and special accented letters like é, è, à etc.
2 – The upward loop letters : These go up to the third line
3 – The downward loop letter : These go down to the second line
4 – Letters with an upward straight line : These go up to the second line. They are smaller than the second group
5 – An exception with the letter f : it has an upward and a downward loop. It is written over 5 lines of height.
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Script letters graphics from Clic! Ma Classe