Beat a drum with B

By: Jessica Horsefield

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /b/, the phoneme represented by B.  Students will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (beating a drum) and the letter symbol B, practice finding /b/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Bill and Betty baked bread for Barbara's baby"; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's The Butter Battle Book (Random House 1984); word cards with BIG, BUG, BRAG, BIND, BRUSH, and BAKE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/: Pictures of bugs, brownies, dog, bread, fish, baby, flowers.

Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /b/.  We spell /b/ with letter B.  B makes a sound like a beating drum.

2. Let's pretend to beat a drum,  /b/, /b/, /b/. [Pantomime beating a drum] Another way to make the sound is to bounce your top lip and bottom lip together to make the /b/ sound. Let's try it together.

3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word ball.  I'm going to stretch ball out in super slow motion and listen for my drum.  Bbbb-a-a-llll.  Slower: Bbbbbbbb-a-a-lllll There it was! I felt my lips bounce together.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. " Bill and Betty baked bread for Barbara's baby." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. " Bbbbbbb-ill and Bbbbbbb-etty bbbbb-aked bbbbb-read for Bbbbb-ar-bbbb-ara's bbbb-a-bbbb-y." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: /B/ ill and /B/ etty /b/ aked /b/ read for /B/ ar/b/ara's /b/a/b/y.

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter B to spell /b/.  Let's draw a capital B: Go straight down the sidewalk; around for his big chest and around for his big tummy. Let's write the lowercase letter b. Start at the roof, go down, b-bbounce up and around. I want to see everybody's b. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in dog or bat? big or small? blue or purple? bounce or fall? crab or fish? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words. Beat a drum if you hear /b/: The, big, horn, blew, and, bothered, Ben.

7. Say: "Now we are going to look at a book called The Butter Battle Book.  This story is about the Yooks and Zooks who can't seem to get along.  The Yooks live on one side of a great wall and they eat their bread with the butter side up.  The Zooks, who live on the other side, eat their bread with the butter side down.  We need to read the story to find out if the Yooks and Zooks ever solve their problem with each other.  As we read, I want you to beat your drum every time you hear the /b/ sound.  So when I read The Butter Battle Book, I am going to do my motion for butter, battle, and book."  Read The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss, and students will do hand (beating drum) motions.

8. Show BIG and model how to decide if it is big or dig: The B tells me to beat my drum, /b/, so this word is bbb-i-g, big.  You try some: BUG: bug or chug? BRAG: brag or drag? BIND: find or bind? BRUSH: lush or brush? BAKE: take or bake?

9. For assessment, distribute the picture worksheet.  Students are to circle the pictures that present the /b/ sound.


Reference:  Loving Letter L By: Natalie Fidler


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