Teaching Capitalization & Punctuation with Animated Shorts

Engage students by teaching capitalization and punctuation with animated shorts.

Let’s face it. Some lessons are just more fun for teachers as well as students than others. Students would rather read the next chapter of an exciting cliffhanger, than study skills. So, how do you make teaching capitalization and punctuation fun for students?  The answer is to use animated shorts and games.

Free Capitalization and Punctuation Activities

These animated short practice activities were created specifically for this blog post. They are similar to the ones found in my Teaching Capitalization and Punctuation with Animated Shorts unit. Check them out to see if teaching skills with this highly motivating method works for you and your students.


Symfaunic tells the story of a brother and sister who have different musical tastes. Their differences lead to a dispute.
In the first practice, students complete a cloze activity to summarize the film. 

Sample from the Cloze Activity

A faun named Cornelius walks through the forest. He leaps up to a tree in the middle of the woods with a hollowed out area that houses a special lyre. Cornelius takes the lyre down. He sits down, plays,  and ______________________________________. Moments later, Cornelius’s young sister runs up and playfully tackles him. The two sit down to play, Cornelius with his special lyre and Clove  with a ____________________ ____________________________. Clove grows disgruntled that flowers will not grow when she plays. She begs her brother for a turn on his special lyre. Cornelius gives in and hands the lyre to Clove.

Sample from the Editing Activity

Next, students add commas and capital letters to facts about Roman mythology. Here is a sample from the PDF.

romans believed in many different gods and goddesses demigods (half-humans and half god) and spirits. They believed that each god had specific powers and controlled parts of the world. Gods showed their unhappiness by sending earthquakes hailstorms and other natural disasters. When people wanted to thank a god or goddess they brought gifts of animals for sacrifice to the temple.  Sacrificial animals included cattle pigs and sheep.

Grab the free animated short activities here.


If you are looking for a motivational activity to teach capitalization and punctuation, it doesn’t get much better than the animated short INVASION! and its sequel ASTEROIDS! 

INVASION! is a 360º (full spherical) VR (virtual reality) film. While watching on a VR viewing device is best, YouTube has 360º videos that can be watched without any special hardware. The screen can be moved with a mouse or finger (with a touchscreen) to see a full 360º view. Check out 360º VR with these two films.

This film tells the story of two white bunnies; the viewer is one of these, who witnesses an alien invasion. I recommend watching the film more than once to see the story from different angles.

The aliens from INVASION! are back in this sequel. Mac and Cheez along with a pet robot named Peas encounter a group of teeth-gnashing space bugs. No sooner than these are defeated, crashing asteroids head toward the spacecraft. Unlike INVASION! the action takes place in different locations. You must move the screen around to view the story.

Sample from the Cloze Activity

The warning signal goes off a second time. The warning shows a _______________. Asteroids hit the ship with Mac still outside. Using the outside camera, Cheez sees Mac __________________.

Peas races outside to rescue Cheez. She is able to pull Cheez out to the way _________________________________ moments before they crash.

Sample from the Editing Activity

Correct the mistakes in the following sentences by adding capital letters and punctuation marks.

eyewitness news captures storms floods and human interest stories using 360º vr.

Not only does 360º vr provide great entertainment but it is also used for training purposes. Pilots and drivers learn how to operate vehicles using 360º vr. Doctors use 360º films for surgery. Explorers use 360º films undersea and in space.

You can watch a number of 360º vr films on youtube.

Grab the free animated short activities here.

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Unit Description

These activities are not part of the purchased unit. Instead, they were created to show what the unit is like. Check out the full unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.

The full unit covers all 4th – 6th-grade CCSSs for capitalization and punctuation. All activities are included in both printable and Google Slide versions.

Check out what is included:

  • Video Lesson with Accompanying Organizer
  • Each lesson contains 2+ videos (Over 30 animated shorts in all.) with a practice that is connected to both the skill that is covered and the animated short.

Skill Lessons:

1 – Capitalizing People

2 – Capitalizing Places

3 – Capitalizing Events

4 – Capitalizing and Punctuation Titles 

5 – Capitalizing and Punctuation Quotations

6 – Colons, Semicolons, Ellipses (includes Using Punctuation for Effect)

7 – Use punctuation to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements

8 – Commas in a Series

9 – Comma after Introductory Elements

10 – Comma in Introductory Elements

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Students play games to practice the skills taught. Most games can be used as seatwork in place of a game activity if desired.


    • Sorry
    • Trail Game and Sorting Activity
    • Task Cards with Four-Way Game Board
    • Snakes and Ladders
    • Ludo
    • Dots and Lines
    • Aggravation
    • Tic Tac Toe
    • Connect Four
    •  Memory

Capitalization and Punctuation Standards

For capitalization and punctuation, the Common Core State Standards divides a few skills across each of the upper elementary grade levels. This means students need to master the skills during the year they are taught with review and practice in future grade levels. The standards are listed below for comparison. Notice that comma rules are scattered across all 3rd-6th grade levels.

3rd Grade

Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
Use commas in addresses.
Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
Form and use possessives.

4th Grade

Use correct capitalization.
Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.

5th Grade

Use punctuation to separate items in a series.*
Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.

6th Grade

Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.*

Teach Capitalization and Punctuation with Animated Shorts

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Teaching with Animated Shorts

Gay Miller



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    • Kaysie on September 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Woohoo!! I’m so excited that I won! Can’t wait to get started! Thanks so much for having this give away and great products! 🙂

    • Sharon on September 20, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    These units are amazing! There are so many wonderful items. I like the routine so my students will know what they are doing each day. The anchor charts are great, but I also really like the coordinating games for each week! I think my students will really enjoy all of the activities!

    • Nora Stetson on September 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you so much! This looks absolutely fabulous! Thanks for your hard work!

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