Billie Jean Fultz
Emergent Literacy
Baby Bumble Bee
bee


Rationale: Once children have learned the alphabet, they need to learn the phonemes that go with each letter of the alphabet.  According to Marilyn Adams, letter recognition and phoneme awareness are two predictors or reading success.  This lesson is designed to help students recognize the letter ‘Bb’ and the sound /b/.  By learning sound/letter correspondences, children become better readers and spellers.

Materials: primary paper, pencils, Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss (Random House, New York, 1984), Chant/Song “Baby Bumble Bee”, picture worksheet, crayons.

Procedure:
1.    Begin lesson by asking the children what their mouth does when they talk.  “WHEN YOU TALK, YOUR MOUTH MOVES, AND THE WAY IT MOVES SOMETIMES CREATES DIFFERENT SOUNDS.  TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LEARN THE /b/ SOUND THAT GOES WITH THE LETTER ‘Bb’.  TODAY, AS WE READ OUR BOOKS AND SING OUR SONGS, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR THE /b/ SOUND IN THE WORDS THAT WE SAY.”

2.    “NOW, LET’S TRY THIS TONGUE TWISTER! I WILL SAY IT FIRST, THEN YOU REPEAT AFTER ME”. The tongue twister will be written on the board for them to see.  (Expose them to text). “BILL AND BETTY BAKED BROWN BREAD FOR BARBARA’S BABY.  NOW YOU SAY IT WITH ME.  LETS SAY IT THREE MORE TIMES AND EACH TIME WE ARE GOING TO GET FASTER.  THIS TIME LET’S SAY IT SLOWLY AND LET’S BRING OUT OUR /b/ LIKE THIS BBBBILL AND BBBBETTY BBBBAKED BBBBROWN BBBBREAD FOR BBBBARBBBBARA’S BBBABBBBY.  GOOD JOBBBB!”
3.    Write on the board the letter ‘Bb’.  “DO YOU KNOW HOW I KNOW THIS IS THE LETTER ‘B/b’?  IT HAS TWO HUMPS IN IT AND IT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE A BUNNY.” Draw a bunny out of the capitol B.  “THE LITTLE LETTER B IS LIKE THE BIG LETTER B’S BABY, SEE IT ONLY HAS ONE HUMP AND ITS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE STICK FACING AWAY FROM THE MOMMY.” Draw a little letter ‘b’ and make a little bunny out of it.  Have children get out their primary paper and pencils.  “WE ARE GOING TO PRACTICE WRITING THE LETTER Bb.  LET’S BEGIN.  FIRST FOR THE BIG LETTER B, START AT THE TOP OF THE SKY, AND DRAW A STRAIGHT LINE DOWN TO THE GROUND.  THEN DRAW A HUMP FROM THE TOP OF THE SKY TO THE MIDDLE OF THE SKY TOUCHING THE LINE YOU JUST DREW.  THEN DRAW ANOTHER HUMP JUST LIKE IT STARTING FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE SKY, MAKING A HUMP AND TOUCHING THE GROUND WHERE YOUR LINE WAS DRAWN.  DOES YOUR B LOOK LIKE MINE?”  Check their work by walking around the room.  “NOW THE LITTLE LETTER b IS JUST LIKE THE BIG LETTER B, ONLY IT DOES NOT HAVE THE TOP HUMP.  LET’S WRITE IT.  FIRST YOU MAKE A LINE GOING FROM THE TOP OF THE SKY TO THE GROUND, AND THEN YOU MAKE A HUMP BEGINNING FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE SKY ALL THE WAY TO THE GROUND, TOUCHING THE LINE YOU DREW.  PRACTICE WRITING THIS LETTER, TRY AND WRITE THE LETTER Bb THREE MORE TIMES.  GOOD JOB!”
4.    “LET’S SING A SONG.  DOES EVERYBODY KNOW THE SONG ‘I’M BRINGING HOME A BABY BUMBLE BEE?’ IF NOT, YOU'LL LEARN IT AS WE GO ALONG.” There will be a piece of chart paper up in the classroom with the words of the song written on it so the children can see the text.  “EVERY TIME WE COME ACROSS THE /b/ SOUND I WANT YOU TO HOP ONCE TO YOUR RIGHT.” (Since that is the direction the B’s face) I will show the students which direction is to the right and draw an arrow for them to see.  “WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF ROOM TO YOUR RIGHT, MOVE BACK TO YOUR STARTING PLACE AND START OVER.” (Reading direction, left to right and sweep back) We will do this exercise many times so I can tell which ones are having trouble spotting the /b/ sound.
5.    Read Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss.  Talk about the story, then read parts of the story and have the children pick out the /b/ sound by bouncing in their seats every time they hear /b/, demonstrate the bouncing so that the children don't get out of hand.  If they don't hear the /b/, then they should remain still and quiet.
6.    For assessment pass out a sheet with pictures.  Have the students circle and color the pictures that have the /b/ sound in them.  For example, if there is a picture of a bumblebee, the children will circle it and color it.  If there is a picture of a shoe they will leave blank.

References:

Reading Genie website: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/illum/batesel.html

Adams, Marilyn J. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print- A Summary.  Center for the Study of Reading, University of Ill.

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For further information, send e-mail to BJ Fultz