Big Bellies and Dandy Duffs

Rationale:  A nagging problem for children beginning to read is the common confusion associated with the recognition of lower-case b and d.  The similar formation of these letters is the cause of the problem with recognition.  When children are learning to read and spell new words, knowing the difference between these two letters is essential.  This lesson will help children to establish the difference between the formations of b and d.  We will do this by imagining these letters to be parts of the body, which start with b and d, and are shaped like these letters.  These familiar connections will help the children remember the difference between the appearances of the two letters.  After we grasp this concept we will examine closer the sounds and uses of the letters, as well.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencils; chart with two stick people drawn on it(this is the most important part of the lesson, one stick person needs to have a "big belly" and the other a "dandy duff," in other words make the stomach and the back area of the stick people very dominant); pictures of a ball, bug, balloon, bumble bee, dog, dish, door, and a doughnut; tape; magazines; scissors; glue; construction paper

1.  Introduce the lesson by modeling b and d on paper.  "Everyone remember that when we make a b the hump goes in the front, and when we make a d the hump goes in the back."  Tell the students that they do look somewhat alike, but are very different letters.  Let the students know that after our lesson they will know the differences between the two and how to remember ways to spot which one is which.
2.  Get out the chart and show the children the people with "big bellies"  and "dandy duffs."  Tell the children, "This is how I remember the difference between lower-case b and lower-case d.  I imagine a person that has a big belly to look the way b looks.  The hump pokes out in the front of them, and I remember the sound because big and belly say /b/.  For d I think of what the back of a person looks like, it looks like a d.  In case you all don't know, a duff is another name for a bottom.  So if d is a person, the hump pokes out in the back where a duff would be, and dandy and duff say /d/."
3.  [Have the students get out paper and pencils]  Now have the children to write lower-case b and d while, "thinking about a big belly and a dandy duff look."  "While we write these letters let's say big belly and dandy duff and stretch out and listen to the sounds of /b/ and /d/.   Say, "b's have bbbbbbig bbbbbellies and d's have ddddandy ddddduffs."  Next have the children practice writing the letters as they say the rhyme.  The teacher should go around the room as this is being done and be sure that all the children are grasping this idea.
4.  After it is established that all the children are understanding the lesson take out the pictures of things that begin with b and d.  Have the students raise their hands and hold up the letters that the thing in the picture starts with if they know it.  "I am going to hold up some pictures now.  Some make the bbbig bbbelly sounds and some make the dddandy dddduff sounds.  If you know which one it is and what the letter looks like hold up your hand and the letter."  [Take out chart with stick people on it]  "If you are correct you can take the picture that I show you and tape it on the chart under the letter-stick person it goes with."
5.  For further assessment, distribute magazines, scissors, pencil, and construction paper to the students.  Have them, "write a bbbig bbbelly b at the top of one piece of paper and a dddandy ddddduff d at the top of the other."  Have them look through the magazine and cut out pictures of things that start with b and d and paste them on the correct page.

Reference:  Ideas from the reading genie website:

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