Lesson Plan

Editing for Capitalization and Punctuation

Students often understand the basic conventions of writing, but may need support in incorporating these skills into their work. In this lesson, students will review some of the more common capitalization and punctuation errors and apply their editing skills to real writing.
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Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to edit a piece of writing that contains dialogue for capitalization and punctuation errors.


(10 minutes)
To Capitalize or Not To Capitalize?Using Quotation MarksEnd of Sentence Punctuation
  • Project your punctuation-free page from a novel. (See Materials and Preparation)
  • Ask students to share their observations.
  • Select a student, or students, to read the page aloud.
  • Discuss how this was different from reading a standard page of punctuated text. Students may observe that it was more difficult because it was unclear where a sentence and piece of dialogue started and ended.
  • If it doesn’t arise in the discussion, note that the use of capital letters helps to indicate the start and end points.
  • Summarize this activity by noting that punctuation and capitalization provide valuable information to the reader. Use the metaphor of traffic signals. The ideas and sentences are like the cars, and the punctuation and capitalization are like traffic signals and road surface markings.
  • Ask students to name a few kinds of traffic signals and what their “jobs” are. Ask students, what is the job of a quotation mark? What is the job of a period? What is the job of a capital letter? (These can have multiple jobs.)

Related Guided Lesson

Editing 3

1 online exercise
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
fifth grade
Subject Reading & Writing