Our Friends b and d
Emergent Literacy

By:  Christen Walton

Rationale:  When children begin to learn their letters one problem that they tend to struggle with is the difference between the lowercase letter b and the lowercase letter d.  In this lesson, a new way for remembering the difference between b and d will be introduced.  Also, the children will practice writing both letters as well as recognize them in a story.

Materials:  primary writing paper, pencil, Ellison letter machine letters b and d for each child, Bud the Sub (Educational Insights, 1990), pictures on 8"x 11" sheets of paper of a bat, dog, ball, doughnut, bear, door, bat, and deer, chalkboard, and chalk, picture page for the assessment

Procedure:
1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining why sometimes people have problems remembering the difference between b and d.  "Today we are going to be working on the lowercase letters b and d.  Sometimes these letters can be confusing because they look so similar but after we learn a new way to tell them apart, hopefully it will be easier for you to remember."

2.  Ask the students to take out primary writing paper and pencils.  "We are going to start off by reviewing what the lines on the paper in front of us are called.  The top line is called the sky, the dotted line is called the fence, and the bottom line is called the sidewalk."

3.  "I'm going to show you how to make the letter b and the letter d first so watch me before you start to write.  First to make the letter b you will start at the sky and make a line to the sidewalk.  Then you will start just below the fence and circle around to just above the sidewalk.  It should look like this. (model how to draw it)  To make the letter d, start just under the fence and make a lowercase c.  Then start at the sky and draw a straight line connecting the end of the c."

4.  Pass out a letter b and a letter d to each child.  "To help us remember what we just learned about b's and d's we are going to play a game.  When I show you a picture, I want you to either hold up your b, if the object in the picture starts with b, or your d, if the object in the pictures starts with d."  Show pictures of a bat, dog, ball, doughnut, bear, door, bat, and deer.  Carefully look at the letter each child is holding up to make sure they understand.

5.  Next I will read Bud the Sub to the children.  I will read the book one time through.  Then I will read the book again and have them raise their letter b when they hear a b sound, and they will raise their letter d when they hear a d sound.

6.  For assessment I will give each child a picture page with pictures of a bug, dad, cab, and red.  I will give two choices for each picture and have the students circle the word that describes the picture.