Objective: The objective of these worksheets is to help students learn the capitalization rules so well that they retain them and are using the rules within the context of actual writing situations.
Part I – Basic Capitalization
This first section is a basic introduction to capitalization. It is meant for younger students who are just learning the concept. From kindergarten, students are learning to capitalize the first word of a sentence. The worksheets in this section move beyond that and focus on the differences between common and proper nouns.
While the focus is on all types of common and proper nouns, the students will practice looking for geographical names, historical periods, holidays, and special events. These topics are concrete and can be easily contrasted between common and proper. For example, the students will be able to see the difference between the common noun, city, and the proper noun, Sacramento.
Part II – Capitalization
Even when all the capitalization rules are known, there are many times when it is unclear whether a word should be capitalized or not. The focus of this section is to memorize all the rules of capitalization and practice identifying words that can be tricky. For example, students will often capitalize seasons such as summer and winter. The trick at the beginning of this section will help students learn, not only the words that should be capitalized, but words that should not be capitalized.
Pretest and Checklist
Begin with a pretest to help the students understand which rules they know and which rules they need to study. After completing the pretest, the students can use the checklist to keep track of the capitalization rules they’ve mastered and the rules that require more focus. The students can keep the checklist in a folder to reference as they complete the worksheets.
For the capitalization rules they already know, the students can complete the worksheets as a review. When they do the worksheets for the rules they don’t know, they will have a greater focus as they complete them.
Students will learn to associate the nine capitalization rules with an image on a baseball stadium. A boy named Cappy Talleyes (sounds like Capitalize) will escort the student around the stadium showing the different rules. By the time the students finish drawing the picture, they will have a solid understanding of all the rules and a mental picture to reference while completing the worksheets and journal activities.
Next, the students will draw a picture where Cappy shows him around his school. In this picture, the students learn several common mistakes made with capitalization. Again, they will have a mental picture to warn them against common mistakes.
As you teach the worksheets, it helps to write each rule on a poster with a sample sentence below. The students are able to use this as a reference as they complete the worksheets and as they write. Ultimately, the goal is to help the students learn the rules to the point where they are using the capitalization rules correctly within their writing.
Extensions and Journal Activities
Because the goal for these worksheets is to have the students apply the rules for capitalization within their writing, many of the worksheets require that the students practice the capitalization rules within an actual writing situation. The extensions will give them immediate practice while the journal activities will allow them to practice several rules simultaneously.
Project and Post Test
The project is an opportunity to get more practice using the capitalization rules within the context of writing. With this project, the students will be writing a story using all the capitalization rules they’ve learned. They will also be reading stories written by their classmates while searching for capitalization rules used by them. Through this process your students will benefit from peer tutoring in ways they could not learn from the teacher.
The post test will give you a first look at which students have a general understanding of the capitalization rules. However, if the students cannot apply the rules within the context of writing, they have not achieved the goal of these lessons.