When teaching capitalization, it is important to remember that with practice comes mastery. Students need to recognize and use capitals in different settings. Following are some ideas for different ways to expose students to the rules of capitalization and ways to practice the rules so they will become second nature to them.
Reading and writing will help the rules of capitalization stick in the student’s heads.
It helps the students if the teacher points out the capital letters in text. That way their attention will be drawn to them. Otherwise, they may never notice them; they just read and go on.
One activity is having them read a newspaper or magazine and circle the capitals they find. They could even do this as a group. Also, circling capitalized words in a magazine or newspaper is more fun than doing another worksheet. You could also do this in a large group setting and put a sample of text on the overhead projector or a “smart board.”
Sometimes it is better to see the capitals in text rather in an isolated sentence on a worksheet. This should help them transfer the rules from their head, as the words that are capitalized are not “out of context.”
Many teachers use teaching capitalization in daily grammar activities either at the beginning of the day or the beginning of a literacy block. In teaching capitalization that is one of the best ways for the students to learn the rules. If they practice each rule at least once a week, then they will have worked with that rule over 30 times during the year. Repetition is key in this kind of learning.
Worksheets are a good way to pinpoint which rules are not understood or are being forgotten. Following is a story with none of the letters capitalized. Let the students know how many words need to be capitalized is it is being used as a worksheet and not a test. There are 35 words that need a capital.
the lazy queen
in a faraway land, there lived a very lazy queen named suzie. she loved to drink pepsi, eat lays potato chips and twinkies, and watch the movie toy story. she never exercised and soon got too big to walk into her favorite place, wanda’s wonderful world of wonder. on tuesday, queen suzie wanted to attend the celebration of her country’s victory over veggieland, called spoiling day. she called to bob and juan and said, “i order you to bring a scooter for me. they got the scooter and she was off. naturally, she won the contest and got the all you can eat in ten minutes award.
The Lazy Queen
In a faraway land, there lived a very lazy queen named Suzie. She loved to drink Pepsi, eat Lays potato chips and Twinkies, and watch the movie Toy Story. She never exercised and soon got too big to walk into her favorite place, Wanda’s Wonderful World of Wonder. On Tuesday, Queen Suzie wanted to attend the celebration of her country’s victory over Veggieland, called Spoiling Day. She called to Bob and Juan and said, “I order you to bring a scooter for me.” They got the scooter and she was off. Naturally, she won the contest and got the All You Can Eat in Ten Minutes award.
Here are the words that need a capital:
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