Teaching Capitals

Teaching Capitals

As with all rules in grammar, capitalization helps to convey a clear meaning. The purpose of capitalization is to portray the importance of different words to the reader. For example, the phrase “The White House.” could be interpreted as the house the President of the United States of America lives in, whereas a reader could construe “the white house” as any white house. Teaching the rules of capitalization to your ESL students at an early stage would improve writing skills. 

Teaching Capitalization

In this post, we will take a look at ten capitalization worksheets for ESL students. While most of the worksheets are geared towards elementary-level students, we have also included a few intermediate level worksheets to solidify capitalization rules with your more advanced students. Let’s jump right in.

Capitalization Worksheets For Elementary Level Students

Alphabet: Matching Upper & Lower Case - This is a beginner level worksheet which teaches students both the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet. Students must match the lowercase letters of the alphabet with the corresponding lowercase letters. The lowercase letter a listed in random order to ensure that students guess the answers. This worksheet allows students to get familiar with capitalized letters before introducing them to the rules of capitalization. 

Capital Letters Handwriting Worksheet D-H - This worksheet was created as a writing exercise for Kindergarten and Pre K students. Students must write uppercase letters in the corresponding boxes. This worksheet is great because it also features a maze which helps students with their motor skills development. Because this worksheet was created in Microsoft Word, It can easily be edited to include different letters or words. 

Phonics 'S', 'A,'T' - This worksheet is for the complete beginners and preschoolers learning the alphabet. The worksheet focuses only on the letters S, A, and T. This worksheet features four activities, the first of which students must draw a line from each letter to the correct picture. Students must draw a line from a sailboat to items that begin with ‘S’ in the second activity. Students must then write the first letter of each picture in the third activity. Finally, in the fourth activity, students must match uppercase letters with the corresponding lowercase letters.

Peer Editing Sheet for Beginners - This sheet, made for beginners, is designed to allow students to edit their peer’s essays or their own for that matter. It covers a wide range of common grammatical errors such as transition words, the order of ideas, spelling, indentation, periods for sentences, and of course, capitalization. The instructions are simple. Students must read their partner’s essay, then answer the checklist questions, either Yes or No, and make the necessary changes in the table. The students must then take their piece back and check for any mistakes their partner found.

Letter Bingo Cards - Games are a fun and interactive teaching tool. This Letter Bingo game is perfect for young learners who are learning the alphabet. Simply print the cards on cardboard. You can use bottle covers as counters, and you are all set. The game was created with Microsoft Word, which means you can easily replace the uppercase letters with lowercase ones to help your students get familiar with capital letters. 

Matching Letters Activity - These sets of flashcards are perfect for your younger learners. It features animated characters to help capture your pupils’ attention. This worksheet is ideal for students who are currently learning the alphabet. The instructions are simple. Students must match the uppercase letters with their lowercase counterparts. This exercise would allow your younger students to differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters easily.


Teaching Capitals

Capitalization Worksheets For Intermediate Level Students

Undoubtedly, your intermediate students would be able to differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters easily. This next set of worksheets would help them get familiar with the rules of capitalization to know when to include uppercase letters in their writing. Since these worksheets are not geared towards younger students, they feature fewer visual aids. 

Diagnostic Mechanics Assessment - This worksheet, geared toward intermediate K6 students, is designed to help students with their grammar skills. Students are given eight sentences and are required to rewrite each sentence with the correct punctuation and capitalization. The students are not allowed to add, remove, or switch around any words. To enable teachers to grade and record their students’ performance easily, the worksheet comes with the answers,  mastery criteria, and clear directions to quickly and easily fill out the Mechanics Mastery Matrix, which is included in the worksheet. 

Punctuation: Sentences and Direct Speech - This Punctuation worksheet is for students of grades three to six. The worksheet can be used to revise question marks, exclamation marks, inverted commas, periods, and capitalizations. The exercise begins with a short story that students can use as an example of how to use punctuation. Students must then correctly punctuate three sentences. 

Capital Letters in Formal Writing - This worksheet is for intermediate students. The pdf document begins with the rules of capitalization, which is an excellent reminder for your students. The rules in the document are as follows:

  • Names and surnames -  Example Martha Higgins 
  • Countries, nationalities, and language: Example France, French  
  • Towns, cities, street names, postal codes - Example: Manchester 
  • Days of the week - Example: Monday 
  • The first word in a sentence - Example: Her father is from Milan 
  • The pronoun I - Example: She’s French, and I am Italian 
  • Abbreviations (formal writing) - Example: ASAP, CV

Students must rewrite the following cover letter placing the capital letters in the correct position. 

The rules of capitalization aren’t uniform across all languages. This often leads to confusion with ESL students. For example, many Spanish ESL students usually write the word ‘english’ rather than ‘English.’ This is because, in Spanish, the names of languages and the adjectives for nationalities are not capitalized, which could be a challenging habit to break. 

If you would like to identify some of the most common writing mistakes and how to stop them, then consider reading 10 Most Common Writing Mistakes and How to Bust Them.


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