Mr. B's Beautiful Buttons


Emergent Literacy

Hannah Stewart

Rationale:  If children are going to learn to read, they must be provided systematic and explicit phonemic awareness instruction.  This type of instruction teaches children to notice, think about, and work with sounds in spoken language.  Phonic instruction teaches children the relationship between the letters (graphemes) of written language, and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language.  This lesson will help children identify the letter B/b, recognize the sound /b/ makes, and practice writing the upper and lower case B/b.


Materials:  Primary paper, pencil, glue, Bb-handwriting practice paper, CD song of the letter people "Mr. B", Styrofoam letter B, jar containing different buttons, and Buttons, Buttons by Rozanne Williams.




1.  Introduce the letter B to the children.  Boys and girls, today I brought a special friend to class with me.  His name is Mr. B and he loves beautiful buttons.  His favorite sound is /b/.  What letter does Bobby, beautiful and buttons begin with?  Letās say the /b/ sound together.  Now what sound does /b/ make?  Do not say "buh", just a quick "b" sound.  Letās say the sound that /b/ makes together.  Children, I want you to look at the way my mouth makes the /b/ sound since some letters sound the same.  As I begin to say the /b/ sound, are my lips together or apart?  John, let me hear you make the /b/ sound.  Can you make the /b/ sound Abbey?  Good job!


2.  Now we are going to listen to Mr. B's song.  Children, I want you to listen for all the different kinds of buttons Mr. B sings about in his song.   As you can tell from listening to his song, Mr. B really loves buttons!  Raise your hand if you can remember what kind of buttons Mr. B sang about: not only beautiful buttons, but also big buttons, baby buttons, in-between buttons, boot buttons, belly buttons, and bow  buttons!


3. Today we are going to learn how to write the letters B/b.  Look at your hand-writing sheet I just gave you. Who can tell me what pictures begins with the letter b?  I see a picture of a kite, does it begin with the letter b?  how about ball?  Letās name all the pictures that begin with the letter b (bird, ball, bee and bike).  Letās go around the room and see who can think of a word that starts with the /b/ sound.


4.  Fantastic. Now that you have heard the /b/ sound, identified pictures and words that start with the /b/ sound, I am going to form capital B on the board for you to see.  Watch me as I trace capital B with my index finger.  Children, see if you can take your writing finger and trace capital B in the air with me.  Letās do this together.  When you are trying to trace capital B , you start at the rooftop and draw a straight line to the sidewalk.  Next you make a curve line from the rooftop to the fence, and another curved line from the fence to the sidewalk.  I am going to call on each of you to trace your capital B in the air for me.  You all are doing a super job!  Now letās learn what a lower case b looks like on the board.  Watch as I am tracing the lower case b with my index finger. Children, can you make a lower case b by tracing it in the air with me?  When tracing the lower case b, you start at the rooftop, making a straight line to the sidewalk. Next you make a curve line from the fence to the sidewalk. Letās do this several times together.  As I call your name, trace the lower case b with your writing finger in the air for me.  Good job children!  By looking at the examples of a capital B and a lower case b, who can tell me what makes them look different?  Thatās correct, you can see by leaving off the top curved line, lower case b is formed.


5.  I am sure Mr. B would love to watch you write his letters B/b.  Pick up your pencil and practice making capital B's and lower case b's on your writing sheet.  Remember how we traced our letters in the air.  Children practice writing capital B and lower case b seven times each on your practice sheet.  I will play Mr. B's song once again as you practice writing your letters.  If each of you do a great job on writing your B/bās, you can pick a button from the jar a little later and help me cover Mr. B with beautiful buttons.  Now go ahead and get started.  I will come around to see that you are writing your B/b's the way we practice tracing them in the air.


6.  Now that you have done a wonderful job writing your B/b's, gather around me and I will share with you a book Mr. B brought with him, a book about all kinds of buttons.  Children, read the title with me, Buttons, Buttons.  As I read each phrase, I want you to read the highlighted word, button, as it appears on each page.  We are going to read the book once again, this time clap when you hear a word that begins with the /b/ sound.


7.  You have seen pictures of different buttons in our story today, and heard a song about them.  I am going to pass a jar containing colorful buttons around the room.  Pick your favorite button from the jar and place it on your desk.  Together we will cover Mr. B with these beautiful buttons! This will make Mr. B so happy because we know from his song how much he loves beautiful buttons!


8.  Assessment:  Distribute the writing reference sheet containing pictures and provide assistance in writing the upper and lower case B/b.




, Bonnie and Jean Osborn (2001). Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read.  C. Ralph Adler, RMC Research Corportion.

Process Phonics CD: Songs of the Letter People.  Abrams and Company Publishers, Inc.


Williams, Lanczak (1994).  Buttons, Buttons.  Creative Teaching Press, Inc.


Winter illustration and alphabet book page B/b by Benton Connor.

Return to the Encounters Index