The Beautiful Bouncing Ball


Emergent Reader
Bliss Ramsey

Rationale: For children to learn to recognize a letter and its phoneme, they will need instruction and practice using the alphabetic principle.  Children will need to be able to recognize phonemes before they can match the letters to phonemes.  This lesson will focus on helping children identify /b/.  They will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words by learning to write the letter, educational activity and then practicing finding /b/ in words.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil, drawing paper and crayons, dry erase markers and board, interesting big book, classroom or room with all kinds of objects and books in it, watch or timer, worksheet with pictures of objects.

Procedure:  1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that writing is like a treasure just waiting to be discovered!  The mystery is learning what letters stand for and how our mouth moves when we say words. Today we are going to work on making the mouth move /b/.  I know you will recognize the /b/, once we begin working on it, because it is often at the beginning of words but can also be seen in the middle of words and at the end.

2. Ask students: Have you ever bounced a ball?  The noise made by the bouncing ball is the mouth move we're looking for to spot the /b/ in words.  I'll show you how to find /b/ in a word.  Stretch it out, and say /b/, like a bouncing ball.  I'll try ball, bbbball.  Yes, you can hear it and see it at the beginning I said /b/.

3. Let's try a tongue twister (previously written on dry erase board).  "Billy bounces his big ball boldly."  Now, let's all say it together.  Good Job!  This time when we say it stretch the /b/ out at the beginning of the words.  "Bbbbilly bbbbounces his  bbbbig bbbball bbbboldly."  Great going!  Lastly, let's break the /b/ off the words:  "/b/illy /b/ounces his /b/ig /b/all /b/oldly."  Nice Job everyone!

4. (Have students take out their pencils and primary paper).  We can use the letter b to spell /b/.  Let's try writing it.  I will start at the roof and make a line going all the way down to the ditch.  Now, keep your pencil on the same line and trace back up from the ditch to the fence.  From the fence make a half circle to the ditch connecting with your line.  Now you all try ~ (I will check everyone's bs).  Good Job!  Now, everyone make a row of bs just like the one before.  Now you know that when you see the letter b in a word that's when you say /b/.

5. Call on students (whose hand is raised) and ask how they knew: Do you hear a /b/ in bad or good?  Bold or shy?  Big or small?  Note or book?  Table or chair?

6. Activity:  Teacher reads an interesting big book.  After reading she says, "This book has a lot of words. Let's see if we can find some words that have the /b/ sound in them.  I will then go through the book and find words, with students help, with the /b/.  I will write the words on the board.   Ask students, "Now can you all help me find more words with the /b/ sound?"  I will continue to write words on the board as students find them in text.   Then ask students to walk around the room and find more words that has the /b/ sound in them (students can use other books, objects, activities, etc.).   Give around a 5-minute limit for finding words.  The class will come back together and I will conclude the list by writing the remaining words that students found on the board.

7. Students will then draw a picture of a ball or butterfly.  Using the invented spelling, students will write a sentence describing their picture.  Then the students will meet with the teacher for a translation of their writings to be written by the teacher (Language Experience Approach).  Keep work for portfolios to show parents.

8. For assessment:  Give students a worksheet full of pictures, and tell students what the names of the pictures are.  Ask students to circle the pictures whose names have a /b/.

Reference:  Adams, Marilyn Jager. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print a Summary.  Center for the Study of Reading.  pg 51-55.
Activity adapted from: Words Their Way Bear.  Templeton, Invernizzi, Johnson. (1996).

Click here to return to Elucidations.