As educators, we understand the importance of equipping young learners with essential writing skills right from the start. Capital and end mark lessons with the focus on the correct use of capitals and end marks, such as periods, question marks, and exclamation points, lays the foundation for effective communication. However, capital and end mark lessons to elementary students can sometimes be a daunting and boring task. Traditional methods that involve rote memorization and worksheets may not always captivate their attention or foster a genuine understanding of the topic. And let’s be honest, kids often just forget to use them.
In this blog post, we dive into a collection of engaging techniques to help teachers make learning about capitals and end marks an enjoyable experience for their young students. So, let’s get started and discover how we can turn capitals and end mark lessons into an exciting adventure that ignites a love for language and empowers our young writers to communicate with confidence!
Mentor texts and picture book are always a fun way to introduce and/or review skills. Here are two fun books that focus on capitalization and end punctuation.
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Brainpop Jr. has a great video about using capitals and another one about using end marks. I love using Brainpop when I can because it helps focus on the skills in a different way.
Interactive Anchor Chart
I love using interactive anchor charts and creating anchor charts for grammar skills! For capitals, we created a chart where we went over specific times you would need to use capital and then created examples that matched those specifics.
For end marks, I love to use an interactive anchor chart. We had already gone over the three types of end marks and had watched the Brainpop and read a book. For the chart, I gave students a different color sticky that would correlate to the type of sentence they would need to write. Students then either created a statement, question, or exclamatory sentence and then added it to our chart. This was a great time to not only discuss end marks, but also review using capitals in the correct places and what makes a complete sentence. See the video above for more.
Group Hunt – Editing Writing
As I mentioned in the introduction, some kids just seem to be allergic to capitals and end marks. I know we talk about them ad nauseam and I remind them to use them, but some students still struggle. Another practice strategy is to have students work with a partner or a group to edit a piece with mistakes.
I’ve written one piece where there are capitals in all the wrong places and another piece where there are no end marks. Students then work with their partner or group to figure out how to fix the errors to make the sentences correct and readable. Once time is up, students come down to the carpet and help me correct it on the screen.
Friday Fix It – Morning Message
I love incorporating grammar skills into my Morning Meeting. A few years ago I started doing a routine on Fridays – where every Friday – the message was a Friday Fix It. Student would be given a sticky note and have to re-write the sentence correctly on it and then add it to the message board. Then, during Morning Meeting we would go over it as a class. This is a great way to throw in a variety of different grammar and spelling skills.
Grammar Fix It – Capitals and End Marks
Since I’ve noticed over the years that capitals and end marks are always a struggle, I decided to create a resource to help students practice. For this resource, there are 8 task cards and students have to fix the errors and re-write the sentence correctly on their recording sheet. In this activity, there is an option for capitals only, end marks only, and both capitals and end marks. I’ve used this as an Around the Room Activity, in stations, and also for independent practice.