Writing Lesson Plan: MINTS – A Capitalization Trick

Months. I. Names. Titles. Start of sentences.
This is an example of what I would put on the chartboard.

A quick lesson to reinforce the five times that students need to use capitalization in their writing.  The acronym “MINTS” stands for months, I, names, titles, and start of sentences.  Using the peppermint candies makes it much easier for students to remember the rules.  **Remember to check for allergies first.**


  1. to remember when to capitalize words in their writing


  1. peppermint candies (check for allergies first)
  2. Mr. Sketch scented water color markers
  3. chart paper


  • Place a peppermint candy on each child’s desk.  Tell them that they can eat them AFTER the lesson.
  • Ask students how they think the word “MINTS” is spelled.  Print it in GREEN capital letters across the top of the chart paper.  As you talk about the capitalization rules, begin each rule with a green capital letter, so that the word “MINTS” is written across the top as a title, as well as down the left side of your chart paper.  The column of words below the title MINTS will read:



Names (people, streets, countries)


Start of sentences

  • Tell students that they are going to learn how to remember WHEN to capitalize words.  All they need to remember for this is M, I, N, T and S… MINTS.  It’s an acronym, or a word where every letter stands for a word.  Acronyms make it easier to remember a list of things.  We’re going to remember a list of things that always get capitalized.    Ask students how many letters are in the word “MINTS“?  Five, just like your hand has five fingers.  We use our hand to high-five someone for doing a great job.  When we learn this capitalization trick, we’ll have done a great job, and can high-five our neighbour, AND eat our MINTS. Here’s the capitalization trick…
  1. M stands for months.
  2. I stands for “I” whenever you are talking about yourself.
  3. N stands for names of things:  people, streets, countries.
  4. T stands for titles.
  5. S stands for start of sentences
  • Review the acronym with students.  What is the NAME of the month?  August.  What do we do with the first letter of the name of the month?  (point to the N in mint or NAME)  Right!  We capitalize it.  Print a sentence using “i” without capitalizing it, such as “Where am i?”  Ask students to find what needs to be captalized.  Right.  The “I”.  Our school is on Nelson Street.  Nelson is the name of the street.  What do we do with names in our writing?  Correct.  We capitalize them.  Hold up a familiar picture book.  Ask what the title is?  What do we do with titles in our writing?  Super.  We capitalize them.  Write a sentence on the chart paper or blackboard, without the beginning capital.  Ask students what is wrong with the sentence.  You’re amazing.  We do need to capitalize that first word.
  • Great job class.  Give your neighbour a peppermint-sized high five.  Now you may eat your own peppermint candy.  Post the chart paper in the writing area to remind students of our new capitalization rules.
  • Remind class about our   “5 Peppermint Rules” for capitalization during the next writing period.

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2 Responses to “MINTS – A Capitalization Trick”

  1. I appreciate the plans. This is something that I am having trouble getting to stick with my students. This visual mnemonic should help.

  2. Thank-you for the excellent lesson I work with children with learning challenges and this helps them remember the rules governing capitalization.

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