Bang The Drum


Emergent Literacy

Amanda Etheridge


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 (banging the drum) and the letter symbol B, practice--finding /b/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words beginning letters.


primary paper


chart with "Bob bought blue birds"

drawing paper and crayons

Book Bouncing on the Bed( Orchard Book 1999)

word cards with –bold, flat, meet, beat, teeth, brush, bang, sang

assessment worksheet (url below)


                1. Say, "Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what stand the mouth moves, when we say words. Today we are going to work spotting the mouth move /b/. We spell /b/ with letter B.  /b/ sounds like what a drum makes when you bang it.

                2. Let's pretend to bang the drum,/b//b/b/.Making the sound of the drum. Notice where your lips come together, (touch one another). When we say /b/, we blow air between our lips.

                3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word babble. I am going to stretch babble out in supper slow motion and listen for my drum sound. b--aaaa--bbbb--bbbb--llleeeee. There it was I felt my lips come together and blow air. I can hear the drum sound in babble.

                4. Let's try a tongue tickler (on chart). "Bob bought blue birds." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. "Bbbbbob bbbought bbblue bbbbirds." Try it again, and this time break the word: /B/ ob /b/ ought /b/ lue /b/irds.

                5. Have students take out primary paper and pencil. We use letter B to spell /b/. Capital B looks like two bubbles. Let us write the lowercase b. Start at the rooftop, make a straight line down and bbbb bounce back up and around. I want to see everybody's b. After I put a smiley face on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

                6. Call on student to answer and tell how if they hear /b/ in birthday or party? bird or dog? fall or build? store or bank? Say: let us see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words. Bang your drum if you hear /b/ in: The bird flew below the bathtub to the barn.

                7. Say: Let's read the book, Bouncing On The Bed. Book talk: A child describes the bouncing, sliding, wiggling, running, splashing, reading, snuggling, and more that fills the day from sun up to bedtime. Every time you hear the /b/ sound, bang your drum.  Ask children if they can think of other words they know that begin with /b/. Then have each student write the name of his or her picture with invented spelling. Display their work.

                8. Show BIG and model how to decide if it is big or pig. The B tells me to bang my drum, /b/, so this word is bbb--iii--ggg. You try some. BOLD: bold or flat? BEAT: meet or beat? Brush: teeth or brush? BANG: bang or sang?

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


Anna Hughes.2004:





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