The Switch Game with b and d

By Hanna Lane Blevins

Dog driving daddy

    Rationale: Many students have problems mixing up b and d when reading words and decodable books as emergent readers.  In this lesson, we will use familiar, everyday words to practice recognizing b and d.  Through practice writing, reading and looking at different b and d words, the students will be better at correctly identifying a b or d in a word.  

    Materials: (for teacher)

        (for students)


    1. "Class, today we are going to work with the letters b and d.  How many of you get those confused sometimes? It's hard to tell them apart when you're reading fast isn't it?  Now, can anyone tell me what sound the b makes? Good job! What a smart class!  And what does the d sound like? Awesome! I'm so impressed."

    2.  "Ok guys, now I want everyone to pull out your pencils and write the letter b with me.  Ok, everyone start at the rooftop, go to the sidewalk, go back up to the fence and make a curve back down to the right around back to the sidewalk.  Good! Everyone show me your papers.  Ok! Now let's write d.  Start at the rooftop go, do down to the sidewalk, go back up to the fence, and curve back down to the left to the sidewalk.  Ok, let me see everyone's papers! You all did so well! Let's write both b and d 5 times to make sure we have it down"

    3.  "Ok class.  I know you all know the difference between b and d.  When you read, you need to slow down every time you see any letter that looks like a b or d and look carefully.  Reading too fast will cause you to miss that letter and if you switch the b and d, you can read the wrong word and miss the meaning of the sentence.  On my chart paper you can see two sentences.  The top one is a letter b tongue twister.  Let's read it together!  Bobby and Billy both like beets.   Ok, now let's read it pausing after we read the b sound at the beginning of each word.  /B/obby and /B/illy /b/oth like /b/eets.  Great!  Now let's do the d sound twister! My daddy does drive my dog downtown.  Alright, now let's pause after every d sound.  My /d/daddy /d/oes /d/rive my /d/og /d/owntown.  Awesome!  I heard the whole class say that perfectly!

    4.  "Ok class, go ahead and pull out your pictures that are on your desk. Everyone hold up the first one.  I would like someone to raise their hand and tell me what it is.  Ok? That's right! It's a bed!  Now what does bed start with, b or d?  Very good! I'm going to write it on my board and I want you to write it on your paper." Go through about 7-12 cards, depending on the level of the group or class.  

    5.  "Ok.  Everyone did so good! Let me look and make sure people are writing their b's and d's correctly.  Wonderful!  Ok now we are going to read a book filled with words that have b and d in them.  I would like you to listen as I read and put both arms up when you hear a d sound and one arm up when you hear the b sound.  Let's see how many words we can find!"  

    6.  For assessment, I will look at their papers and make sure they are writing their b's and d's properly.  I will also listen when they are calling the words out loud from the pictures on their desks.  Also I will ask them (after reading the tongue twisters) if they hear b or d in the words
In addition, they will be writing b and d so I can see that they can write them correctly.  

References:  Seuss, Dr. The Butter Battle.  Random House , 1984.

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