b or d:

What do you see?

Emergent Literacy

Meredith Willis

Beginning readers begin the literacy journey by learning to recognize letters and identifying the sounds that accompany them.  The letters b=/b/ and d=/d/ are two letters that can give beginning readers some difficulty because they look so much alike.  Children often mix these letters up, making them pronounce words incorrectly because they are identifying a b or a d when they should be pronouncing the opposite letter.  This lesson will provide students with exposure to the two letters in a variety of ways including seeing and hearing the letters written and said to them.  In addition to learning how to recognize these letters when they hear or see them, the students will also practice writing the letters b and d.


                -cards with b(green) and d (red)

                -b word cards (bet, boot, beg, bill)

                -d word cards (den, dull, dock, dip)

                -ãbothä word cards (bleed, dab, bud, drab)

                -primary writing paper

                -lead pencils

                -green and red cards for each student

                -dry-erase board and markers


<!--[if !supportLists]-->1)       <!--[endif]-->ãToday we are going to look at two letters that look a lot alike.  I am going to show you the first letter (b).  Can you tell me what this letter is? (Student response)  What sound does the ãbä make?  What about this letter (d)?  What sound does ãdä make?ä

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2)       <!--[endif]-->Using the red and green cards, students will raise the ãbä card or the ãdä card when they hear the letter sound that they are being asked to identify:

ãNow I want you to listen to some words.  I want you to raise your hand if you can tell me which word goes with the sound b or d.  Letâs do one as a class, ÎDo you hear /b/ in dug or bug?â (S.R.)

-ã/d/ sound in dust or bust?ä

-ã/b/ sound in best or dressed?ä

-/d/ sound in ban or Dan?ä

-ã/b/ sound in bent or dent?ä

3)  Tongue twisters using b and d:

ãGood job! The next thing we are going to do is listen and look at some tongue twisters. 

Does everyone know what a tongue twister is?  (S.R.)  Weâre going to go over some right now.ä

        -b=/b/  ãBilly bought Bonnie a big bow before bowling.

ãI would like for you to listen to my say this tongue twister first.  When I have finished, I want you to repeat what I have just said.  When you hear any ãbä sounds, make sure to really push those sounds out to show me that you know how to say this sound.ä

ãNow weâre going to move onto this tongue twister:

        -d=/d/ ãDaisy dusted the desk during daylight.ä

Like with the ãbä tongue twister, I need for  you to let me say the tongue twister, then you will have a chance to say it.  Remember when we say this tongue twister we are trying to push out the ãdä sound whenever we hear it.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4)       <!--[endif]-->Model and practice letter formation for b and d:

-ãWe are going to practice how to write b and d correctly.  I am going to demonstrate how to write the letter ãbä on the board and I would like for you to watch me closely.  When writing lowercase ãbä there is a special phrase that we can say as we write it.  It goes like this, you start at the rook and go down, bbounce up to the fence and around.  Now I would like for you to take out your own paper and write 4 lowercase bâs for me.  Remember to say the little phrase to help you write each b.

ãNow weâre going to look at lowercase ãdä.  How many of you can make a lowercase ãcä? (S.R.)  If you can write the letter ãcä, then I know you will be able to write the letter  ãdä.  I am going to teach you another little saying to help you remember how to write the letter ãdä.  For little or lowercase ãdä, first you make a little c then little d.  Just like with what you did with letter ãbä, Iâd like you to write the lowercase ãdä using the phrase I just taught you.ä

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5)       <!--[endif]-->Read a short story containing b and d sounds:

ãAs I read this story, if you hear any b or d sounds, please raise either your b card (green) or your d card (red).ä

-Ben and Buddy are best friends.  They do everything together.  The dig big holes in the backyard and they drag old wood to build their treehouse.  Ben has an older sister named, Diane.  Buddy thinks Diane looks like a doll.  He does silly things when she is around.  In class, Ben and Buddy drive their teacher, Mrs. Dillard, crazy.  They draw on the their desks and drop gum on the floor.  They do work hard on the schoolwork.  The boys love to do science experiments.  Buddy wishes they could find a way to blow up the classroom so they would not have to come to school.  Ben does not like the idea because he knows they could get into trouble.  Instead, they decide to blow up a volcano during science.  ãLavaä splattered everywhere, but Mrs. Dillard just laughed because the boys got so dirty. 

                Assessment:  Students will be assessed on their response to the lesson in a variety of ways.  Their general participation will be taken into consideration first of all.  Students will also turn in their primary paper that contains samples of their handwriting of lowercase b and d.  During the reading, the students will be observed to see if they are able to recognize and identify if they hear the letter b or d when words are spoken. 


                Tate, Natalie.  Emergent Literacy.  Big, bad, b and d!

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