Teacher Name: Teri Vestal, Greenwood I.S.D.

Grade Level: Elementary/Intermediate

My Unit Plan:  Language Arts

Title:  Simple Capitalization and Punctuation

Grade Level: 4th-5th

Overview:  By 4th/5th grade, students have been exposed to basic language rules of capitalization and punctuation.  The ultimate goal is to guide students to become proficient writers.  The task at hand is to empower students to successfully communicate using their own written and expressive language skills.  

Assessment: Share examples of captions from various sources such as brochures, newspapers, magazines, etc.  Ask students to identify the captions and express what purpose captions serve.   

My Best Lesson(s) for This Unit

Lesson Plan Title:  Writing Captions with Capitals and Punctuation

Grade Level:  4th-5th

Duration: 30-45 minutes

Student Goal: The student will demonstrate knowledge of basic capitalization and punctuation skills.  These skills will be applied and reinforced through caption writing. 

Student Objectives:  After writing short captions, the student will proofread, recognize, and correct capitalization and punctuation marks.

List Materials:  Variety of travel magazine images from around the world; vacation photos; writing supplies; Language Arts: Punctuation (PDF) -- a content sample from the Scholastic Language Arts Notebook by Mead, available early summer 2004 in the Teacher Store.

Set Up and Prepare:  Provide age-appropriate examples of captioned images or photographs.  Ask students to identify proper nouns, titles, proper capitalization, and punctuation within each caption.  Continue exploring captions in print by using classroom textbooks, looking for the same elements of correct capitalization and punctuation. 

Directions:  Share a personal vacation photo or travel brochure with students.  Invite students to contribute ideas for writing a short caption about the image.  Then ask students to help identify and edit the caption with correct capitalization and punctuation.  Encourage students to contribute additional details to expand the caption. 

PART I:  For capitalization, remind students to begin every sentence with a capitalized word and to capitalize proper nouns like names of people, pets, and titles.  For punctuation, remind students to use a period after a telling sentence, a question mark after a question is asked, and an exclamation point after stating something exciting or emotional!

Step 1:  Provide each student with a travel brochure or destination photo.  Ask students to create and write their own original caption.   

Step 2:  After captions are composed, help each student proofread and make corrections.  Share work, then exchange images and write another caption. 

Assess Students:  Have students demonstrate understanding through independent writing opportunities.   

Lesson Extension:  Assign students the task of writing a caption for a personal photo or image from home.  Create a special place in the classroom for displaying work.    

Evaluate Lesson:  Provide an opportunity for each student to independently write and edit an original caption. 


Inspiring young writers to become successful in the writing process is so important!   Scholastic Language Arts School Supplies by Mead (color-coded red) can help students begin developing good organizational habits for writing.  By incorporating the following checklist into writing lessons, students can begin to better understand and experience a successful writing pattern:

_____PREWRITING:  Choose an interesting topic, explore it thoroughly, and plan your writing.  Be original and have confidence that you can become the expert on whatever topic you select. 

_____DRAFTING:  Put your thoughts into a working draft.  Don't worry about mistakes here.just get your ideas down on paper.  Don't be afraid to start over, and start over, and start over.it's okay!  If needed, take a break and do some reading, or get some exercise before writing again. 

_____REVISING:  Make changes to improve your draft by asking yourself these questions:  Did you say what you wanted to say?  Did you elaborate and use details to support your topic?  Are the facts, ideas, and events organized in a meaningful order?  Is the writing interesting, inspiring, and informative? 

_____PROOFREADING:  This is where you become the editor.  Share your work with someone else to see where changes in capitalization, punctuation, word use, sentence structure, and paragraph organization might be improved.  Make needed changes, then proofread again.

_____PUBLISHING:  It's time to present your writing.  Ideas for sharing your work might include,  creating a book; posting your paper on a class website; recording your writing on video or audio tape; using your work as a part of a speech.


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