We as adults have already gone through the lessons on capitalization during our early school years which is why we now know its importance in writing and reading. Working on the concept today is a lot easier when you use capitalization worksheets to reinforce the concept with your students. Your students must go through the same process and lessons because the proper utilization of capitalization is essential, especially when learning formal writing.
What is capitalization?
Written languages in olden times were originally made up of capital letters only. There is a theory that the introduction of lowercase letters came to be because of sloppy writing. Today, when we see text with all capital letters, we always associate it with anger or shouting. But each language has its own set of rules on which words to capitalize and the circumstances that require capitalization.
Capitalization refers to writing words with their first letter being in uppercase and the rest of the letters in lowercase. In English, for instance, we must capitalize the first letter of the first words in sentences. Aside from this, you should also capitalize proper nouns or the specific names of places, persons, ideas, and things.
Learning capitalization is vital in children’s education. Students at all grade levels have to learn the proper use of capitalization. Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a problem because teaching how to capitalize is very simple. Also, you can use different capitalization worksheets to help your students gain proficiency in this concept.
How to teach capitalization
The best way to have mastery in capitalization is through capitalization practice. Students should have the ability to use capitals correctly in different situations. There are different ways you can expose your students to the rules of capitalization and give them capitalization practice worksheets to practice these rules so that capitalization becomes second-nature to them.
Students who read more will have more experience with proper writing, capitalization skills included. Also, the more students write, the more exercise they have applying the rules of capitalization. You should also help your students point out the capital letters in texts so that they can focus on these. Otherwise, they might miss these and just continue reading.
Aside from using capitalization rules worksheets, here are some tips basic rules when teaching capitalization:
- The first word in a sentence.
- The first word in each line of poetry.
- Proper nouns like the names of cities, people, organizations, holidays, and more.
- Proper adjectives.
- The pronoun “I.”
- Days and months of the year.
- Words used as titles and names.
- The first word for opening or closing a letter.
- The main words in titles.
- Historical events, documents or eras.
- Abbreviations and letters that stand for organizations or names.
Activities for teaching capitalization
Could you imagine what reading or writing would look like if there were no capital letters? A reader can’t discern the tone of a written message or even discern when a sentence starts and another one ends. For this reason alone, you can already notice the importance of capitalization.
Among other things, you use capitalization to separate sentences, highlight names, and emphasize pronouns. Punctuation, which is as important, helps readers understand the feelings and emotions behind statements.
You should teach capitalization and punctuation hand-in-hand to help students recognize their importance in communication which consequently can avoid any misinterpretation in texts. Here are some suggestions for capitalization and punctuation worksheets and other activities to teach this concept:
The use of capitalization worksheets is a practical way for students to find and correct capitalization problems. Moreover, it also helps them understand that correct capitalization can help them communicate more effectively with one another. Consider these steps for capitalization practice:
- For your capitalization and punctuation worksheets, write several short paragraphs without capitals and punctuations by running all of the sentences together.
- Ask your students to read the paragraphs out loud.
- Then, ask your students to correct the paragraphs on the capitalization rules worksheet so that they become readable.
- Now, discuss with the students the difference that proper capitalization and punctuation make to effective communication.
Any writing that uses no capitalization and punctuation barely makes sense. Readers will have a hard time distinguishing the message as they won’t know when one sentence starts and another one ends. With proper capitalization and punctuation, they can easily discern the message in paragraphs leaving no room for misunderstandings.
Aside from using capitalization practice worksheets or capital letters worksheets, you can further improve your learning environment through the use of games. Students who have fun while learning end up learning more effectively. Here are the steps for this fun capitalization practice activity:
- Divide your students into groups.
- Display a paragraph with sentences that run together.
- The groups can raise their hands to give corrections. Each correct guess gives the group a point.
- You can also ask each group to write a few sentences without any capitalization or punctuation marks.
- Then each group would take turns to write their sentences on the board for the other groups to correct. The group that does the best job of making corrections wins the game.
Ending the sentence
This is one activity that you can incorporate into a capital letters worksheet. Here are the steps to explain it:
- First, explain the difference between declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory sentences.
- On the worksheet, list a number of sentences. Make the sentences personal to the students, don’t add punctuations, and don’t capitalize anything.
- Explain that the meaning of some statements can change depending on the punctuation. Construct sentences that they can interpret in more than one way.
Use capitalization in real-life
This is an excellent way to show your students the importance of capitalization and punctuation in their lives. Here’s an example of an activity you can do:
- Find a story from your local newspaper.
- Rewrite the story without using capitalization and punctuation marks.
- Ask your students to read the rewritten version of the story. Obviously, this will be very difficult.
- Next, add the correct capitalizations and punctuations.
- Your students will discover that the corrected version differs from the rewritten one.
- Talk about how important it is to get capitalization and punctuation correct, especially for news stories.