From Mechanically Inclined

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  • Read Giraffes Can't Dance to the class
  • Pass out the worksheet with the text from the first few pages of the book. Ask student to highlight every word that they find that starts with a capital letter. (Don't forget the title)
  • Work with students to identify all of the reasons the author used capitals. (title, beginning of sentence, name, country, name of an event) As students name the reasons build a tree map on the board titled Capitaliztation and add a branch for every reason they name.
  • Have students create their own version of the tree map. Students can place the highlighted words into the correct branch of the map.
  • For some practice putting this all to use, give the students the following 3 sentences as dictation. Challenge them to be perfect with their capitalization in all of the sentences. (Since spelling isn't the focus you may want to put the troublesome word giraffe on the board so students can know how to spell it)
    • We just read a book called Giraffes Can't Dance.
    • It is about a giraffe from Africa named Gerald.
    • At the Jungle Dance the chimps did a Latin dance.
  • Have students exchange papers and check their partners work, focusing on capitalization. If they find a mistake they can politely point it out and let their partner decide whether or not they would like to fix it.
  • For more application/practice, have students revisit a recent piece of writing and read it with an eye for proper capitalization.
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