Blowing Bubbles with B

Emergent Literacy Design


Nikki Tucker

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 (pretending to blow bubbles under water) and the letter symbol B, practice finding /b/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencils; chart with "Blake the baker bakes black bread"; word cards with BIG, BOX, FEET, BALL, MOST, and BIKE; picture of a fish blowing bubbles; poem using the /b/ sound and assessment worksheet (URLs below).

Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The way to discover the code is to figure out what letters stand for - the way we move our mouths when we say words. Today we are going to work on how to say /b/.  We spell /b/ with letter B and it sounds like blowing bubbles under water.

2. Let’s pretend to blow bubbles, /b/,/b/,/b/. (Act out blowing bubbles while emphasizing the /b/ sound). Notice where your lips are (point to lips), they are lightly smacking against each other. When we say /b/ our lips touch and then reopen again to make the sound.

3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word crab.  I will say the word super slowly and stretch out all the letters so you can listen for the bubble blowing. Cc-rr-aa-b. Slower: Ccc-rrr-aaa-bbbb. Did you hear that at the end? I was blowing my bubbles with my lips smacking against each other. I can feel the /b/ in crab.

4. Let’s try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Blake the baker bakes black bread." Everybody say it three times slowly together. Now this time stretch the /b/ out at the beginning of every word. "Bbbblake the bbbaker bbbakes bbblack bbbbread." Try it again and break the /b/ off at the beginning of each word. "/b/ lake the /b/aker /b/akes /b/lack /b/read."

5. (Instruct students to take out the primary paper and pencil). We use B to spell /b/. Look at your lines on your paper as a rooftop (top line), fence (dashed line), and sidewalk (bottom line).  We can start by practicing the upper case B, draw your line on the left from rooftop to sidewalk. Next, connect starting at the rooftop and draw a half circle to the fence that ends in the middle of the line. Do the same from the fence to the sidewalk by drawing another half circle. Let’s now practice writing the lowercase b, draw your line from rooftop to sidewalk again but this time just draw on half circle connecting at the middle of the line on the fence and going to the bottom at the sidewalk.  I want to see everyone’s lowercase and uppercase b’s. Once I check them off I want you to draw four more lowercase b’s and four more uppercase B’s.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in play or bug? Blue or yellow? Cub or let? Globe or stove? Let’s see if you can spot your mouth moving to /b/ in some words. Blow bubbles if you hear /b/. The, burly, beaver, built, his, dam, out, of, big, brown, logs.

7. Pass out poems to every student. Say: I’m going to read you a poem about a bird. Every time you hear the /b/ sound I want you to clap. I’m going to read it slower the second time and I want you to write the blowing bubbles /b/ words on your paper. (The words they need to write down are Bonnie, blue, bird, bye, birdie). Since the words are right in front of the students invented spelling is not going to be a huge issue.

8. Show BIG and model how to decide if it is big or dig: The B tells me to blow my bubbles, /b/, bbbig, big. You try some: BOX: box or fox? FEET: meet or feet? BALL: ball or tall? MOST: post or most? BIKE: bike or hike?

9. For assessment, the students will do the worksheet that has been distributed to them. Students are to draw a line from the each butterfly to the words that begin with /b/. Call students individually to read the phonetic cues from step #8.

Reference: Murray, Geri. CTRD 3710 ExampleELDesign (2011). Blackboard Learning System

Fall 2008, Murray, Bruce.



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