Battle of the Brains – Capitalization of Common and Proper Nouns

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 10307

Big letters, little letters. Uppercase and lowercase. A letter's a letter, right? Not when you're writing a letter to a famous person! Projects, videos, and games teach you about capitalization rules!


Grammar, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


The game that challenges your brain in the subject of grammar! Do you know the rules of capitalization? Try this game and see how well you do!

It's time to play Battle of the Brains!

You can play this game alone or with others. You will need a timer, lined paper, and a pen or pencil. You will need to write the categories on the board in your classroom so everyone can see them. Do one category at a time. Set the timer for 2 minutes.

Category 1 is common nouns. How many common nouns can you find for the following specific topics:

  • item in jewelry store
  • grocery store
  • fruits

Category 2 is proper nouns. How many proper nouns can you find for the following specific topics:

  • famous people
  • states
  • fast food restaurants

Have fun!

Writing is not limited to Language Arts assignments or essays and research papers for other subjects. You write every day. You write for school, you write for leisure, and you may even write as part of a job.

Because writing is an important part of your everyday life, it is important to take the time to review the rules that you need to follow to write well and to ensure your written messages are easily read by others.

This lesson focuses on the skill of capitalization. More specifically, this lesson will review the rules for capitalizing common and proper nouns in your writing.

Review the following Discovery Education Common and Proper Nouns video to refresh your understanding of capitalization of common and proper nouns:


After you have watched the video, it's time to stand up and do an activity!

The following activity is called the Gallery Walk. Instead of walking through an art gallery you will be walking through a proper noun gallery. Your classroom teacher will take 7 pieces of large construction paper and put a title on top of each of them. The titles are as follows:

  • Country Names
  • City Names
  • Bodies of Water Names
  • Team Names
  • Company Names
  • Languages
  • Vehicle Names

Your teacher will hang all 7 of the pieces of paper all over the room and away from each other. You should have to walk a little to get to the next paper.

You will need a marker and your teacher will be in charge of the timer.

You will be given 1 minute to list as many proper nouns as you can on each piece of paper.

You can play this game alone or with others. If you are playing with another student, each of you will start at a different paper.

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