Beth's Big B

Laura Davis

Emergent Literacy Design

Rationale:  It is important for children to be able to recognize phonemes in the spoken language so they are able to become booming readers.  In this lesson students will learn to recognize the /b/ sound in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (bouncing a ball) and the letter symbol.  By writing practice, tongue twisters, and independent work, students should improve enormously when recognizing the /b/ sound.


Primary Paper for each child, pencil for each child

Sentence Strip with "Beth borrows Benny's big baseball bat" written on it

Sentence Strip with upper case B and lower case b written on it

Word list with the /b/ sound and without: ball, cab, basket, about, Beth, best, bubble, bed, hat, grass, pot, dog, cable

Book: Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963).



1. Our written language is a secret code. We have to learn what letters stand for, which can be tricky. The letters stand for the way our mouths move when we say a word. We will work on learning how our mouths move for different letters, and today we will work on spotting the mouth move for /b/. We spell /b/ with the letter B. B looks like two balls stacked on top of each other and /b/ sounds like a bouncing ball bouncing across the floor.  

2. Now pretend you have a ball in your hand.  Push the ball to the floor and say /b/, /b/, /b/, /b/ each time you it bounces.  When we say /b/, we press our lips together tightly then open our mouths and push out air.

3. Let's try our tongue tickler: "Beth borrow Benny's big baseball bat.���  Good, now try to say it in a whisper voice to yourself three times in a row.  This time I want us all to say it together and stretch out the /b/ sound each time you hear it and use your hand motion like you're bouncing a ball. ���BBBBBeth bbbbborrows BBBBBenny's  bbbbbig bbbbasebbbbball bbbbat.���  Great job!  This time lets break it off the word. ���/b/eth /b/orrows /b/enny's /b/ig /b/aseball /b/at.���

4. Let me show you how to find the /b/ in the word table.  I'm going to stretch tableout in super slow motion and listen for my bouncing ball.  Ttt-aaaaa-bbbb-b-b-b-llllll-e. There it is! I felt my lips come together and pop open.  I can feel the bouncing ball /b/ in table.

5. Pass out primary paper and pencil to students.  We can use the letter b to write /b/.  To write an upper case B we start at the rooftop, draw a straight line to the sidewalk the pick up your pencil and start back at the rooftop make half a circle to the fence then another half circle to the sidewalk.  Now I want to see you make an uppercase B.  After I have seen your B, write 9 more of those.  Now, to write a lower case b we start off the same way.  Draw a straight line to the sidewalk the pick up your pencil and start back at the fence and draw half of a circle down to the sidewalk.  After I have seen your lowercase b draw 9 more of those.

6.  Call on students to answer and tell how they knew:  Do you hear /b/ in Beth or Laura?  Cable or purse? Bubble or chair? Best or west? Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words.  Bounce your ball if you hear the /b/:  row, ball, cab, basket, about, Beth, best, bubble, bed, hat, grass, pot, dog, cable, chicken

7. Ask the children to raise their hand if they can think of a word with the /b/ sound in it.  If you have plenty of time have the children right their word on the board, but if you do not write it yourself.

8. Now let's look in the alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a funny creature who actually has a name that starts with /b/. Can you guess its name? Are there other words you can come up with that start with /b/. Now you get to become an illustrator and create your own creature like Dr. Seuss did. Your creature has to have a name that starts with /b/. After you are finished creating a name and drawing, we'll display them in the classroom.

9. Assessment:  In order to assess the students learning of the letter B they will write the uppercase and lower case form of B on a piece of primary paper.  To assess their learning of the phoneme /b/ I will pass out a worksheet that has different pictures on it and have them color the pictures that have the /b/ sound and finish all of the words.



Leah B. Smith


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