LESSON TWO: What’s Proper
In written text, students use conventions of capitalization for proper nouns (team names, companies, schools and institutions) and proper adjectives.
W2B Use conventions of capitalization in written text
§ Sources of literature
o Grammar books and/or worksheets
o Index cards on which you have written proper adjectives and proper nouns without capital letters
o Sample sentences/paragraphs
o Scoring guide for formative assessment
§ Handouts provided
o Sample paragraph – Formative Assessment
§ Words to know
Select a paragraph that uses proper nouns and proper adjectives or create one. A sample paragraph is included. Give students a copy of the paragraph without the capital letters. Students read the paragraph, then circle the words that should be capitalized. Scoring guide provided.
Why do we need to use capital letters?
What problems would you have reading a piece of writing with no capitalization?
What kinds of words should be capitalized? Why?
How does adding capital letters improve the clarity or meaning?
1. Introduce the lesson objective and explain that in building their cities, students will be creating businesses, schools, teams and institutions. This will require the correct use of capitalization rules. Using your grammar book, writers’ handbook or website, review the rules for capitalizing proper nouns and proper adjectives. Put sample sentences on the board (transparency) being careful not to capitalize, and have students identify nouns and adjectives, then categorize them as common or proper. Suggested categories for proper nouns include the following: team, state, city, month, day, hotel, park, restaurant, specific man, woman or child, movie, song, river, place (including areas of the country such as South or Southwest), country, business, etc.
After working through a few sentences with students, ask if they see a pattern in the names of people, places, and things that require capital letters. Using guided and independent practice, have them identify many of the categories listed above to help them internalize the concept that specific nouns require capitals.
When reviewing capitalization rules, students may also need to review nouns and adjectives if they are note familiar with part of speech.