Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they have to recognize phonemes. A lot of children have trouble with the letter b. They can get it confused with the letters p, d, and q. This lesson will help children identify the phoneme /b/. This is the sound made when you hear a big bang or boom such as a firework exploding. The children will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, then they will practice finding /b/ in words.
Materials: Primary handwriting paper, pencil, chart with Bill and Betty baked brown bread for Barbara's baby, worksheet with pictures of a boat, dog, bear, hook, ball, pig, and bee, crayons, the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
1. When we write words, they can sometimes be tricky. Letters stand for the way our mouths move when we say the words. Today we are going to work on the mouth movement when we say /b/. This is the sound that is made when you hear a big bang.
2. Did you ever hear a big bang or boom like when a firework is being launched? That is the mouth movement we are going to make. This mouth movement makes the letter b. We will also learn how to look for this letter in words. I want you to try the sound now, I will do it with you. (Teacher models the sound and then has the students repeat her.) /b/ is a short breath sound made when we press our lips together and air is quickly let out. The teacher emphasizes /b/ and makes sure that all of the students are catching on.
3. Now I want you to look at this chart. I want you to say this tongue twister with me. Repeat it after I say it, "Bill and Betty baked brown bread for Barbara's baby." (students repeat) Now I want us to say it three more times. Good! Now I want us to say it but say the /b/ three times before saying each word. Bbbill and bbbetty bbbaked bbbrown bbbread for bbbarbara's bbbaby. Great! Now try it again and this time break it off from the word. B-ill and b-etty b-aked b-rown b-read for B-arbara's b-aby.
4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil.) Now we will use the letter b to spell /b/. Let's write it. (Teacher models wile explaining to students) Start at the top of the road and go all the way to the bottom and then bounce around in front of the line you just made. Now I want you to write the letter b ten times on your paper. As you write it make the sound silently in your head.
5. Teach now reads the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear and talks about the story. Read the story again and have the students raise their hands when they hear the b sound. List their words on the board. Then have each student draw a picture and write a message about his or her favorite animal using invented spelling. Display their work.
6. Now I want us to practice some more words with the sound /b/. I am going to say some words and you tell me which ones have the /b/ in them. Do you hear /b/ in bear or chair, rug or bug, look or book, ball or tall, pig or big, bake or cake? (Teacher calls on different students to answer each question.) This will provide a short review in order to see if the students have learned and caught on.
7. For assessment, distribute the worksheet with the pictures on them. Have the students color each picture that begins with the letter /b/. Students should only color the pictures boat, bear, bee, and ball.
Reference: Murray, Dr. Bruce 2001. The reading genie website
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