Better “B” the Best

Holly Vanhooser

Emergent Literacy

Rationale: Not only do vowels have a certain phonetic sound, but consonants do too. This is important for students to know as they are learning to read and decode words. A child’s phonemic awareness will determine whether or not they will be a successful reader. This lesson will help student’s identify the phoneme /b/, which is represented by the letter b. Learning the sound of the letter b, identifying words that contain the letter b and recognizing the /b/ sound in words will all help improve the students knowledge in the letter b and its phoneme.



-chart paper with the alliteration “The big brown bear bit Betsy’s banana” written on it.

-primary paper with blank section at the top



-The Berenstains’ B Book by: The Berenstain’s



-Say: Today we are going to learn about the letter b. Can someone tell me that sound the letter b makes? (/b/). That’s right! When we say the letter b we are making the /b/ sound. Can everyone say that with me? /b/ /b/ /b/ /b/. Great job! Today we are going to be finding a lot of words that make the /b/ sound!

-Ask the students: Have you ever seen fireworks? What sound do fireworks make? (/b/ oom) That’s right. When you hear a firework go off you hear it go BOOM!


-Say: Let’s try this tongue twister together (on chart). “The big brown bear bit Betsy’s banana.” Now say it again but drag out the /b/ sound in each b word. I will say it first and then you try. “The bbbbbig bbbbbbrown bbbbbear bbbbbbit Bbbbbetsy’s bbbbbbbanana.” We are going to say our chant one more time but this time separate the /b/ sound from the rest of the word. For example in the word bread we would say /b/ read. Now let’s try it with the chant. “The /b/ig /b/rown /b/bear /b/it /B/etsy’s /b/anana.” Good job!

-say: Now I want you to take your pencil and paper out and write the lowercase letter b five times. Remember when you write the letter b you start up at the roof top, go all the way down to the sidewalk, and bounce up to the fence and make a circle. (give them time to complete this task). Now I want you to think of three words that start with the letter B and write them on your paper.

-say: When we say the letter b I want you to think about what your mouth does. Your lips come in together and then open again. When you bring your lips together it makes a capital B. Does everyone see that?

-say: Now I am going to say two words and I want you to tell me which word has the /b/ sound. Do you hear /b/ in “book” or “desk”? (book). Do you hear /b/ in “lose” or “boss”? (boss) What about in “brown” or “red”? (brown)

-say: Do you hear the /b/ sound in the word “blue”? Yes. What about in “pile”? No. Do you hear /b/ in “objects”? Yes. What about in the word “label”? Yes. And finally do you hear the /b/ sound in the word “king”? No. Good job.





Is this word “like” or “bike”?

Is this word “ball” or “doll”?

Is this word “bear” or “pear”?

Is this word “look” or “book”?


-say: We are going to read a book called The Berenstains’ B Book. In this book there are a bunch of people that we get introduced to. There is brown bear, blue bull, and beautiful baboon. The three of them are riding on one bike together and they are biking backwards! All of a sudden they hit a bump and….BAM! What happened to brown bear, blue bull and beautiful baboon? Let’s read the book to find out!

-After reading the book, have the students write down 5 b word’s they heard in the story. Then instruct them to draw and color a picture using at least two of the five words they wrote down. Take this up for assessment to see if they understand how to pick out words that have the /b/ sound.


Berenstains, The. (1971). The berenstains' b book. New York: Random House, Inc.

Harden, Adriane. Buzzing Bees.

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