B-b-bouncing ball

Emergent Literacy Design:

Jamie Self


Rationale:  The greatest indicator of successful readers is phoneme awareness, or the ability to recognize the mouth movements or vocal gestures in spoken words.  There are three features of effective programs for teaching phoneme identities, and they are:

a.)  focus on a basic set of individual phonemes, one at a time.
b.) Activities designed to make each phoneme memorable.
c.) Practice finding each phoneme in spoken words.  

In this lesson we will focus on the phoneme /b/, which is represented by the letter b. The lesson will implement all of the previously mentioned strategies to help students learn to identify /b/ in spoken words.




1. The trick to reading and writing is learning what the letters stand for or the sounds or mouth moves we make as we say words.  Let’s look at these items I have on the table.  (Draw the students’ attention to the objects listed above) As I point to each object, let’s say them together.  Very good.  Can anyone tell me what all of these words in common?  That’s right!  They all start with the /b/ sound.  Today, we’re going to be trying to find the /b/ sound in words.

2. Have you ever noticed the sound a ball makes when you’re bouncing it on the ground?  I like to /b/ /b/ bounce the ball. (Model pretending to bounce a ball as you repeatedly say the /b/ sound.  Now let’s all pretend to bounce a ball as we say the /b/ sound.

3. Let’s see if you can say this fun /b/-filled tongue twister. (Draw students attention to the chart.  Say “Bill and Betty baked brown bread”, emphasizing the /b/ sound).  Now let's try it together. Great job!  Now I want you to bounce your ball every time you hear the /b/ sound as you say it. Like this:(demonstrate making a motion like you're bouncing a ball each time you say the /b/ sound in the tongue twister.) Okay, your turn.  Very good! (Repeat his several times).

4. The /b/ sound can be spelled using the letter b.  Let’s all practice writing the letter b.  (Demonstrate writing the letter b). Start at the roof; go down, b-b-bounce up and around. Now I want you to try. Write this five more times, and I’m going to come around to see how you are doing.  Whenever you see a b in a word it says /b/

5. Do you hear /b/ in butterfly? Let me see if I can hear /b/ in butterfly.  (Say /b/ /b/ butterfly).  I do!  Now I am going say some words and I am going to call on students to tell me which word has the /b/ sound.  Do you hear /b/ in bag or cup?  Coat or boat?  Big or small?  Bat or rat?  Good or bad?

6. Read Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See and then discuss the story as a class.  Reread the story, this time raising their hands whenever they hear the /b/ sound.  Have the students draw a picture of brown bear and write a sentence about something else he could have seen using invented spellings. 

Assessment: Distribute the picture page and have students circle the pictures whose names have /b/ and write the letter b above the pictures they circled.


Jackson, Maria. Bouncing Basketball B’s.

Murray, Dr. Bruce. Making Friends with Phonemes

Murray, Dr. Bruce. Teaching Letter Recognition.

Click here to return to Constructions