“B, b, Bouncing Balls and Baseball Bats”

Emergent Literacy

Marcy Price


Rationale: This lesson will help children recognize and identify the phoneme /b/ represented by the letter B. It will also help children associate the phoneme /b/ with the letter B. This lesson will help children remember what sound /b/ makes by using something to help their memory (“b,b,b,bounce” ). The baseball bat and baseball will help the child remember how to write the letter /b/ and not get it confused with /d/. This lesson will help with phoneme awareness. This will also give them practice with finding /b/ words. Students will get a better understanding of the correspondence by focusing on the mouth movement with the sound.

Materials:    Primary paper


                        Tongue tickler with picture: (Bill and Betty baked brown bread for Barbara's baby.)

                        The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

                        Word cards with words BAM, BOOK, LAD, DAY, BUG, MAP

                        Worksheet (assessment)


Introduction: 1. Words we write are really cool because they are like a secret code, but sometimes they can be tricky because we have to learn what the letters stand for. Letters tell us how to move our mouths and what sounds to make. We will be working on learning how to move our mouth to say the letter /b/. We spell /b/ with the letter B. (After I say that I will show them my picture card for the sound /b/.) B looks like two basketballs on top of each other, and /b/ looks like a baseball bat beside a baseball. What do you do to a basketball? What sound does a basketball make when it hits the floor? B,b,b,b,…. bounce!


2. Let’s pretend to bounce our basketball. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Okay, every time you say bounce notice where your lips are. First, they are closed together tightly. Then we push out the air in our mouth with strong force.


3. I am going to find the /b/ in the word bad. I am going to say bad really slow so that I can hear the b,b,bounce. Bbbb-aaa-ddd. I’m going to say it one more time even slower bbb-aaa-ddd. I found it! I found it because I felt my lips close really tightly then push out the air really hard. I heard my basketball bouncing too.


4. Now we are going to try this tongue tickler to hear our sound in other fun words. Bill and Betty baked brown bread for Barbara's baby. Let’s repeat it three times, whenever you hear our /b/ sound pretend like you are bouncing a basketball. Now let’s do it again except for this time when you hear our /b/ sound stretch out the sound to make it sound like this. Bbbilly and Bbbetty bbbbaked bbrown bbbread for Bbbarbbara’s bbabbby. One more time, but this time let’s separate the /b/ from the rest of the word. /B/illy and /B/etty /b/aked /b/rown /b/read for /B/ar/b/ara’s /b/a/b/y.


5. (Have students take out their primary paper and pencil.) We are going to use B to spell /b/. Capital B looks like two basketballs sitting on top of each other. Let’s write a capital B. Start at the roof and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk. Then bring your pencil back to the roof and make a hump from the roof to the fence and make another hump from the fence to the sidewalk. Lowercase b looks like a baseball bat with a baseball lying right beside it. Let’s write a lowercase b. Start at the roof and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk. Then put your pencil on the fence and draw a hump down to the sidewalk. After I check your work draw five more capital Bs and lowercase bs.


6. Activity. Call on students to have them decide which word they hear /b/ in. (bug or fly? Brick or house? Beat or lose?) Now everyone pretend to bounce your basketball if you hear the /b/ sound in these words: beg, shake, bunk, bag, toy, face, back, cow.


7. Practice with a text. Let’s read The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss. The Yooks and the Zooks disagree on which side of the bread butter should be on. This disagreement leads them into a competition. Let’s read to see who out does the other one. While reading if you hear a word that starts with /b/ pretend to bounce your basketball. Then ask the students if they can come up with any other words that start with /b/. Let the students choose a word (different from one in the text) to draw a picture of and have them spell their word below their picture (invented spelling).


8. Let’s practice reading our new letter /b/. Model how to decide whether the word starts with /b/ or not. Example: Which word starts with /b/, bug or mug? Bug starts with /b/ because the B tells me to bounce my ball. It also tells me to put my lips together and push the air out really hard. Here are some for you to try: brick or kick? Bake or make? Plank or blank? Bang or sang?


9. Assessment. Worksheet. Have the students color the pictures that start with the letter b. http://www.tlsbooks.com/letterb_1.pdf




Holcomb, Joanna, Bouncing the Ball with B.  



Assessment worksheet:




 The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss Publisher: Collins 1984

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