Listen to Your Heartbeat with B


Emergent Literacy Design

Ana Eagerton

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /b/, the phoneme represented by B. Students will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (heartbeat) and the letter symbol B, practice finding /b/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Betty bought bangles because Bailey bought bangles;" drawing paper and crayons; Benny's Box, (1999); word cards with BAT, BOAT, BENT, BIND, BLUSH, and BAKE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/.

Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /b/. We spell /b/ with the letter B. B looks like a sideways heart, and /b/ sounds like your heartbeat.

2. Let's pretend to listen to our heartbeat, /b/, /b/, /b/. [Pantomime listening to heartbeat.] Notice where your lips are? (They are touching). When we say /b/, you are bringing your lips together and then blowing out air.

3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word bus. I'm going to stretch bus out in super slow motion and listen for my heartbeat. Bbb-u-ss. Slower: bbb-uuu-sssss. There it was! I felt my lips touch together and then blow out air. I can feel the heartbeat /b/ in bus.

4. Let's try a tongue tickler (on chart). "Betty bought bangles, because Bailey bought bangles. Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. "Bbbbbetty bbbought bbbangles, bbbecause Bbbailey bbbought bbbangles." Try it again, and this time break it off the work: "/b/etty /b/ought /b/angles, /b/ecause /b/ailey /b/ought /b/angles."

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil.] We use letter B to spell /b/. Capital B looks like a sideways heart. Let's write the lowercase letter b. Start at the rooftop. Bring the line all the way down to the sidewalk. Go back up to the fence and loop back around to the bottom of the sidewalk. I want to see everybody's b. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in luck or book? Bat or foot? Jump or cub? Band or done? Tub or sore? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words. Listen to your heartbeat if you hear /b/: The, hairy, bug, did, not, buy, two, tubs, of, grub.

7. Say: "Let's look at the book Benny's Box. The author tells us about different objects Benny has in his box that start with the letter B. Can you guess?" Read the short book, drawing out /b/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /b/. Ask them to make up some silly objects they would have in their own box like, bbbbbaaapppp-bbbbiiipppppp-bbbbooopppp. Then have each student write their silly objects with invented spelling and draw a picture of the silly objects in their box. Display their work.

8. Show BAT and model how to decide if it is bat or sat. The B tells me to listen to my heartbeat, /b/, so this word is bbb-at, bat. You try some: BOAT: coat or boat? BENT: bent or sent? BIND: find or bind? BLUSH: blush or slush? BAKE: fake or bake?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that began with B. Call the students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


"Benny's Box" (1999) Auburn Publication

Timberly Farley-

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