According to CCSS Language Standard 2, students at pretty much every grade level have to learn how to capitalize. Don't worry though. It's pretty simple to teach students how to capitalize if you know the way. I'll show you the way, and then you can use my collection of worksheets, lessons, and tests to help your students master capitalization.
I made a table of contents for this page. It is below. If you already know how to teach capitalization, click on the table of contents below to skip ahead. Otherwise I suggest you review this page from top to bottom. I organized it this way for you.
First, teach your students about proper nouns. Don't give them a list of 800 types of proper nouns to capitalize. Just teach them what a proper noun is and tell them that proper nouns are always capitalized.
Second, teach students that we capitalize titles. This can be titles of books or movies as well as professional titles. However, there are some words in titles that we don't capitalize. If you have younger students, explain to them that we don't capitalize "little words" like and or in. If your students are more developed, tell them that we don't capitalize articles and prepositions in titles.
Last, remind them that we capitalize the first word of every sentence and the pronoun I. They probably already know this, but it is the third case where we capitalize words.
Now that you know the plan, it's time to prepare your materials. You may be interested in using the PowerPoint lesson that I created on capitalization if you have a projector. After teaching them when to capitalize, give them some homework or classwork on capitalization. Why not give them both? Check out my free capitalization worksheets below. Does your class have access to tablets or computers? Why not assign your students online capitalization homework or classwork? They will get instant feedback and it will save you a bunch of tedious grading. I think you've got it from here, but if you have any questions or need some help, leave a comment at the bottom of the page. In review...
Teach Students to Capitalize These Words
Proper Nouns (and Brand Names)
Titles (except articles and prepositions [little words to the primary students])
Here are some capitalization worksheets. I tried to use simple examples to make these worksheets more accessible, but I also tried to make them fun to read. I think that I struck a decent balance. Feel free to download the RTF versions of these worksheets and edit them so that they are more appropriate for your students. However, I recommend that students complete these activities online. Grading all of those examples can be EXTREMELY tedious for teachers, and students deserve feedback in a timely manner, so why not have a computer grade them? Check out one of my online capitalization activities here. They are free. Students can print, save, or email their results as a PDF file or even post their scores to Facebook. The online or Ereading Worksheets version of each activity is the bottom link. I think that you are going to love what I made for you.
Donald Evers/ January 20, 2023
This question on Capitalization Test (problem 4) was misleading to my students. You correctly stated that suncream should not be capitalized, but they told me that Bronson’s should have been. I agree with them about Bronson’s and you about suncream. However, you both are wrong somewhere.
4. Bruce Hand put Bronson and bronson’s Suncream 4000 on his nose.
Mr. Morton/ January 24, 2023
Thank you for pointing this out.
The answer key was incorrect. “Suncream” should be capitalized in that example because it is part of the product name, as indicated by it appearing before 4000.
I have updated the key:
Helen/ June 23, 2022
Thank you. I am a busy grandmother. I don’t want to overwork my grandsons or myself. It is important to help them not loose so much over the summer. We have a lot of fun going around to museums and other reasonable priced activities.
Denise Feehan/ March 16, 2021
Great resource. Thanks for sharing:)
Bob Wilkinson/ November 14, 2019
If I were to give students the capitalization practice as an online activity, and assuming they have written their first/last names … will I be able to access the results of what they have done/scored? Or see if something wasn’t completed? Also, is there a way to break it down by class period? I have 150 kids … 6 class periods.
Mr. Morton/ November 14, 2019
Students can print, save, or email their scores as PDF files.
If the activity contains long-response questions or essay questions, those answers will be attached to the PDF.
The best way to address it is to make students responsible for saving the PDFs of their scores and printing them out or emailing them to you.
Yes, this is a lot of emails, but unless I’m going to create a subscription-based account service, this is what I can provide now.
Alternately you could make students print their pdfs and submit them as physical, dead-tree documents and enter the grades in that manner.
At least the scores (sans-long-responses) will be calculated for you.
Jeff Jefferson/ February 7, 2018
Cecilia/ April 27, 2017
While taking the test I noticed a question that read, “(insert name) spilled a picture of juice”. If you could change picture to pitcher.
Mr. Morton/ June 14, 2018
Sure thing. Which one is it on?
Janet/ April 4, 2013
I took the quiz today (before I present it to my kids). Question #18 still indicates that “west” should be capitalized. In this case, since it is a direction, it should not be capitalized?
Mr. Morton/ April 4, 2013
As I was once corrected, directions should be capitalized if they refer to a specific place, such as the American West, or the North and South fought in the Civil War, but not when they are used as general directions.
Lee/ March 6, 2013
These worksheets really help you study. Also, the lessons on Power Point are helpful.
Margaret Thorstenson/ November 26, 2012
There is an error in Online Capitalization Practice Test 1. Question #18 says that the word “west” should be capitatized, but I don’t think that’s correct. You only capitalize directions when you’re referring to a specific area. For example, I would like to live in the West. In sentence #18, it was used as a direction.
Mr. Morton/ December 2, 2012
I’ve fixed this. Thank you for your corrections.