Have you ever been tight on time and not able to properly prepare a class? Once I had to prepare an extra class for a student at the last minute, and because of other commitments, I had ZERO time to prep. So, since I had the rules for how to punctuate/capitalize titles drilled into me in high school, I thought it would be a quick, useful lesson since it’s so different in Spanish.
What I did:
Grabbed a couple of books in English from my personal library. You can use books, CDs, newspapers, magazines, etc. etc. Make sure one has “articles” or “poems” or something with a subtitle. I grabbed one that had poetry.
So, I basically explain what words to capitalize, and when to italicize/quote the title. Since most books don’t usually have their titles properly capitalized, you can usually just have the student practice on the book titles. The book with articles or poems is to show the difference of when to underline and when to italicize. You can teach key words such as: italicize, italics, cursive, capitalize, upper case, lower case, bold, underline, strike through, author, genre.
Then, I have the student guess what the book is about looking at the front cover and title. He then has to explain the book to me. This can get pretty funny and far off, so try to make it fun, not frustrating! Then, have him read the book reviews or summary on the back to get a better idea of the book. Talk about what it’s about. Talk about words he didn’t understand. Repeat for the other books.
For a 1 hour lesson with an intermediate student I used 3 books. The same 3 books only took 45 minutes with a more advanced student. You may want to add or subtract more books depending on the level of your student.
What to capitalize:
When to underline/italicize and when to use quotation marks: