Buzzing Bees


Emergent Literacy

Adriane Harden

Rational:  In order for all children to become successful readers and spellers, they must first learn that each letter stands for a phoneme and the phonemes help to create a map for the spoken words.  Before they learn what each letter the phoneme matches, they must recognize the phoneme in spoken words. This lesson is meant to help students recognize /b/ in spoken and written words.  Once they have recognized /b/ in spoken words, the children will learn how to represent the phoneme using a letter and then practice their new skills.



            Primary paper and pencils

            B letter cards

            Book- Who’s Bugging you?

            Chart with “The bad bug went buzzing around the bay bothering boats.”

            Blank copy paper


            Worksheet with the following pictures: bug dig, bag dad, boat car, vacuum broom



  1. I will introduce the lesson by telling the children that the alphabet is made up of letters, and each letter stands for a particular sound.  The way our mouth moves is a way of figuring out what each letter sounds like as we speak.  Today we will try to find the sound /b/ in our spoken words, and then I will show you how to write it, and find it in other words.
  2. I will ask the students: Have you ever been so scared or surprised that you thought your heart was going to beat out of your chest? Well I have and when it beats that loudly, it sounds like this /b/ /b/ /b/ /b/ (make the hand gesture of a beating heart).  That’s the mouth move we’re going to look for in words.  Lets all practice our beating heart together /b/ /b/ /b/ /b/.
  3. (Display chart) Now we are going to see if we spot the /b/ in the sentence on our chart. “The bad bug went buzzing around the bay bothering boats.” Lets say it twice together.  This time we’re going to stretch out the /b/ when we hear it at the beginning of the word: “The bbbad bbbug went bbbuzzing around the bbbay bbbothering bbboats.” Great job! Lets try it again this time we’ll break off the /b/ in each word we hear: “The /b/ad /b/ug went /b/uzzing around the /b/ay /b/othering /b/oats.”
  4. We can use the sound /b/ to write the letter b.  Get out your primary paper and I’ll show you how to write it and then you practice.  Start at the rooftop, drop down to the sidewalk, then bounce back up to the fence and around.  Lets all practice writing a line of b just like that.  When you see the letter b by itself in a word, that’s the clue to say /b/.
  5. I’m going to show you how to find /b/ in a word like ability.  I’m going to stretch it out and listen for the beating heart: aaabbbbbility. Did you hear it? Aaaabbbbiiillity.
  6. Next I will call on students to tell which word they hear the /b/ in and how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in brown or tan? Bake or cake? Baby or child? Able or apple? Thimble or needle?
  7. Do a short book talk of Who’s Bugging You? "Once you begin reading the book, you’ll have to use the clues from the book to find out which bug is doing the bugging.  Now lets read this great book and figure out who's bugging who!"  Show your /b/ gesture when you hear the /b/ in the words I am reading.  After reading, pass out the primary paper and have the children write and illustrate their choice of bug bugging something.
  8. Pass out the assessment worksheet which contains pictures of b words and have them circle the picture that contains the /b/.


Beck, Isabel L., Making Sense of Phonics The How’s and Whys, The Guilford Press, 2006 pp 33-42

Bell, Ginny. Hungry Hungry Harry

Bruce Murray, The Reading Genie:

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