Capital letter (proper noun) dominoes

A wonderful kinaesthetic card matching game designed to help learners remember when to use capital letters.

The game comprises 52 picture cards (26 proper nouns, 26 common nouns) and [img_assist|nid=4758|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=58]26 double ended upper-lowercase dominoes. It not only reinforces knowledge of capital letters but also is a good speaking and listening activity. Learners often debate what or who the picture is and where it needs to go.

Originally designed it to be used with E2E learners, but since used successfully as an icebreaker with level 2 NVQ students and with Entry Level students with learning difficulties.

If you wish to display the pictures on a large screen (or change some of the pictures to suit your learners) they are also provided in a separate PPT.

Physical format
13 screen PPT, 4 page PDF


I laminated and made up a set of dominoes over the weekend. It was well worth the time spent.

I used them today in a small group for Functional English support. The four of us played for about 10 minutes; we didn’t use up all the cards but it didn’t matter and no one much cared who won!

It made a wonderful introduction to my one hour session. The game is a great assessment for learning tool: you can informally assess each student’s knowledge of using capital letters for names of businesses, brand names, people’s names, TV shows, etc. It also prompted much discussion on the importance of accurate punctuation in everyday life (and in Functional English tests!). Several misconceptions were uncovered and there was a lot of new learning about when not to use capitals: several students were not aware that capital letters are not used for seasons of the year.

I used an adapted version of Leia Fee’s Capital letters recap as an accompanying handout/reference sheet.

Thanks Billy!

kerryann (not verified)

Wed, 2012-03-14 14:45

I can’t believe no-one has already commented on how inappropriate the picture of Jennifer Aniston is for use in a classroom! It’s the only picture of a famous woman and she is naked! For years many of us have been fighting for equality and respect; something which is particularly difficult in a class of adolescent boys. This resource does not even have a balance of male and female. It reinforces the stereotype of men having a variety of roles and women just being there as titillation.

Hi Kerryann

Yes I agree. In fact I remember that when I used the PPT (not the cards) in a class last year I changed the picture of Jennifer Aniston to one where she was more suitably dressed. I also agree that there is not a fair mix of men, women, etc.

However, it is not my job to censor resources that people are kind enough to contribute, particularly those that are very effective. Generally I just edit grammar/spelling mistakes, tidy up layout and add curriculum links where needed. Only on very rare occasions do I not accept resources.

I should also point out that the site is for post-compulsory education (not that that has anything to do with your very fair point!) and of course all resources should be checked through by the teacher first to see if they suit their learners.

If you would like to put pictures of your choice into the PPT and email it to me I would be very happy to create a new set of cards using your pictures and post it on the site as an alternative version of the dominoes resource.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. I also hope you will continue to comment – perhaps also leaving feedback on resources that you do like and that have worked well in your classes.

If anyone else has views on this please feel free to leave a comment below this or email me privately via the contact button.