Big Bamboozled Bears

Elana Rees Willett

Emergent Literacy


Rationale:             As children learn the alphabet, they need to understand that the alphabet letters stand for phonemes.  Phonemes are the small mouth moves in speech that form our spoken words.  In this lesson, we will learn the individual phoneme for ‘Bb’ and the /b/ sound it makes.


Materials:            Primary paper, pencils, drawing paper, crayons, dry erase board and markers, worksheet with pictures, The Berenstain Bears and the Bad     Dream by Stan & Jan Berenstain, chart with /b/ tongue twisters



1.                  Begin lesson by asking and modeling what happens to your mouth when it talks.  “Have you ever noticed that when you talk, your mouth moves?  Do you notice that it moves differently with each sound you make?  Let’s think about the way our mouth moves when we make the /b/ sound.  Today, we are going to be talking about the /b/ sound and finding it in books and songs.  Let’s get started!”

2.                  “First, lets put our hands in front of our mouths and feel the air push out when we make the /b/ sound. You make the /b/ sound by putting your lips together and letting the air bust out of your mouth as you say /b/!  It sounds like a bouncing ball: /b/, /b/, /b/.

3.                   “Now, we are going to say some tongue twisters so we can hear the /b/ sound!  I will say them first and then you can repeat after me:  Big bamboozled bears bugged Ben.  Now, your turn!”  Have the children repeat it three times, starting slow and getting faster each time.  “Start slowly and we’ll get faster each time, let’s really exaggerate our /b/’s!  Bbbig BbbamBbboozled Bbbears Bbbugged Bbben!”  (Repeat twice more)  Fantastic /b/’s everyone!  

4.                  “This time let’s break the /b/ sound off from the rest of the word as we say a new tongue twister!  Brandy busted Betsy’s brown ball:  /b/randy /b/usted /b/etsy’s /b/rown /b/all.”  Great job!  (Have these twisters written large on a dry erase board and point to the words as you say them.)

5.                  “Next, we are going to write the symbol for the /b/ sound!  It is called the letter B.  Does anyone know what the letter B looks like?  (Let children look around the room to spot any B’s if some of them know what it is while they get out their primary paper and pencils.)  Now, lets write the letter B so we will know when to say the /b/ sound when we read!  When we write on our paper let’s pretend the lines form a house!  The top line is the roof, the middle, dotted line is the fence, and the floor is the bottom line.  Some letters will fall below the floor; we will call this area the basement!  Does anyone have a basement in his or her house?  First, for the capitol B, we make a line down to the floor; we bounce around for his big chest, and around again for his tummy.  Let’s write the letter B’s on our paper a few times to give it a try.  Great job class!”



6.                   “Does everyone remember when we recited the B tongue twister: Brandy busted Betsy’s brown ball?  I would like for everyone to come up with a tongue twister that has some /b/ sounds in it.”  Give the class time to think about these and allow students to repeat them to you or to write them (invented spelling) on paper. 

7.                 Now, we are going to read a book that has some /b/ sounds in it!  It is called  The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream by Jan and Stan Berenstain.  Whenever you hear the /b/ sound in this book, bounce your hand on your head so I know you heard it!  Let’s practice with the title of the book:  The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream.  Remember to bounce your hand softly only when you hear the /b/ sound.”  First read the book only to listen for /b/, then read it again so students  can bounce their hands on their heads.



            Pass out the picture worksheet and explain the instructions to students.  “Now that we know the /b/ sound, I would like for everyone to circle the pictures where you hear it.  If you don’t hear the /b/ sound, do not circle that picture.  Let’s try one: the first picture is bat.  Do you hear a /b/ in bat?  Yes, then you would circle the bat picture.  I will go over all the pictures with you so you know what they are called.  After you finish circling, you may color the pictures.”


Reading Genie Website--, Fultz, Billie Jean, Baby Bumble Bee.

The Educator’s Reference Desk--, Mosier Alicia, What Sound Does the Letter “Bb” Make?

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