Tap Your Drum 

Kayla Petty

Rationale: Phonemic awareness leads to learning to read and spell words. Phonemic awareness is not spontaneously acquired but can be taught successfully.  A child’s ability to discriminate phonemes is one of the best predictors of first-year reading achievement following pre-reading letter knowledge. No matter the level of a child’s phonemic awareness, to make use of it, he or she must learn to identify the forms of each individual letter visually.  Letter reversals are caused by low print knowledge, not reading problems. Children need to understand that letters stand for phonemes and the way you spell maps out the phonemes in different spoken words. The difference between the letters B and D are normally tough for many children to distinguish. Learning identities of letters takes time and practice. Big books are meant to be read over and over. This lesson will help children identify /b/ (short b). They will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken and written words by learning meaningful representation and a letter symbol and then practice finding and using /b/ while reading and spelling. These activities will make the phonemes more memorable as the students review tricky phonemes. They will get more familiar with learning to decode and use accurate finger pointing.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; crayons and drawing paper; chart with “Bonnie and Bob boiled baked beans for Betty’s baby boy”; B and D worksheet; Book- Brown Bear, Brown Bear; picture page with ball, bag, cat, bus, broom, bat.

Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that when we write, our language is a secret code and we have to learn what the letters stand for.  Explain the mouth moves to make sound as we make our words. Today we are going to work on spotting the way our mouth moves when we say /b/. At first it may be hard to catch on, but as you get to know it, you will be able to point out the letter B in spoken and written words.

2. Ask students: Did you ever hear a person play a drum making the sound /b/? That’s the mouth we are looking for in words. Let’s pretend to play a drum and say /b/. [tap an imaginary stick.] We play drums like a band on a field. Hit your drum three times: /b/, /b/,/b/.

3. Let’s try a tongue twister [on chart]. “Bonnie and Bob boiled baked beans for Betty’s baby boy.” Now everyone say it three times together. Now say our tongue twister again, and this time stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words.  “Bbbbonnie and Bbbbob bbbboiled bbbaked bbbeans for Bbbetty’s bbbaby bbboy.” Try one more time, but this time break it off of each word: “/b/ onnie and /b/ ob /b/ oiled /b/ aked /b/ eans for /b/ etty’s /b/ aby /b/ oy.”

4. [Have students take out primary pencil and paper]. We can use the letter b to spell /b/. Lets write it. Ask students where to start on the paper (hat). Ask how far they are to draw down (shoe). Demonstrate going back up to the belt line, curve over, and back around without lifting your pencil. I want to look at everyone’s b. Once I give you a smily face, I want you to make nine more just like it. When you see the letter b in a word from now on, remember that means to say /b/. Hand out bed worksheet and model how to put the b to bed. Have students put it away with their things for further practice.

5. Now I want to show you how to find /b/ in the word web. I am going to stretch it out very slowly while you listen for our drum sound. Ww-ww-e-b-b.. There it is!

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in black or white? Ball or Glove? Brush or Comb? Mop or Broom? Tap your drum if you hear /b/. Bonnie, and, Bob, boiled, baked, beans, for, Betty’s, baby, boy. [Point out that Bob has /b/, but and does not]

7. Say: “The bear in our story is brown. The bear can see many different interesting things. What all do you think brown bear can see?” Read Brown Bear, Brown Bear and talk about the story. Read it again and have students point out the sounds /b/ and letter b. List the words chosen on the board and then have each student draw brown bear and write a message about it to encourage invented spelling. Their work should be displayed.

8. For assessment, distribute the picture sheet, having the students circle the pictures whose names have /b/. Then, if time allows have them color the b on their bed worksheet and circle it.

Reference: Beginning To Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. By: Marilyn Adams, 1990.

Pre-teaching: Mrs. King, 1st grade, Smithstation Primary School, AL, 2009.

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