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Capitalization Rules

Before completing a writing assignment, children should proof their work to ensure proper use of capital letters. Every child progresses differently. Incorporating capital letters in writing is a gradual progress. However, many reading programs expect students to use correct capitalization by forth grade. When appropriate, review the following capitalization rules with your child.

Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
Example: My dog is white.

Capitalize the pronoun I.
Example: My father and I like to ride our bikes.

Capitalize dates.
Example: January 1, 2012

1st Grade
Capitalize the names of people.
Example: George Washington, Mrs. Smith

1st Grade
Capitalize the first word of both the salutation and close of a letter.
Example: Dear Connor,
Your friend, Emma

1st Grade
Capitalize specific dates, e.g., events & holidays.
Example: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving & Wimbledon
Do not capitalize seasons, e.g. spring, winter & fall.

2nd Grade
Capitalize trade names (products) and organizations.
Example: Crest toothpaste, Dove soap, & Dell

2nd Grade
Capitalize geographic names.
Example: United States, Asia, Maryland, New York City

2nd Grade
Capitalize abbreviation and acronyms.
Example: US, St., Mrs. & SCUBA

2nd Grade
Capitalize the first word & important words in titles of books, magazines, newspapers etc.
Example: Wall Street Journal, War Games
Do not capitalize insignificant words, e.g., a, an, the, and & if.

3rd Grade
Capitalize the first word in a direct quotation.
Example: She said, “I do not like peas.”

4th Grade
Capitalize the names of races, languages, religions and deity.
Example: Caucasian, Spanish, Catholic & God

4th Grade

Fry, E.B., Ph.D. & Kress, J.E., Ed.D. (2006). The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists 5th Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Montgomery County Public Schools Elementary Integrated Curriculum Framework, September 2010.

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