Copywork is the art of copying words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to improve penmanship and writing style. A child should copy or trace letters and then use the art of copywork to improve their writing skills.
I recommend beginning with copywork if you are considering notebooking. I began by studying a topic with my child and after I would dialogue with him. Then I asked him what he learned and by using his words, I created a worksheet of his verbal notes (using a worksheet maker) so he can trace them. I did this to get him familiar with taking notes and expressing his ideas while doing penmanship work.