Listen to the beat of your heart with B

By Anna Reeves

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 heart) and the letter symbol B, practice finding /b/ in words, and apple phoneme awareness with /b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: primary paper, pencil, chart with "Billy bounced his basketball," drawing paper and crayons, Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House 1963), word cards with BAD, LOG, BEAT, SEND, BAND, and LOOK; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/



1. 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 looks like a heart turned sideways, and /b/ sounds like a beating heart.


2. Let's pretend to listen to someone's heart, /b/, /b/, /b/. [use hand gesture] Notice what your lips do when you say /b/.


3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word tribe. I am going to stretch tribe out in super slow motion and listen for my beating heart. Tt���rrr���iii-bbbbb-e. There is was! My lips came together and popped out the air. I can hear the beating heart in tribe.


4. Let's try a tongue tickler [on chart]. Billy bounced his basketball. Everybody say it three times together. Now, say it again and stretch out the /b/ at the beginning of the words. Now, try it again and break the /b/ sound off the word


5. [use primary pencil and paper]. We use the letter B to spell /b/. Capital B looks like a sideways heart. Let's write a lowercase b. Start by making a line from the rooftop all the way down to the sidewalk. Then, without picking up your pencil, move up to the fence and make a circle back around down to the sidewalk. After I check to see if it is correct, I want you to make 9 more just like it.


6. Ask different students: Do you hear /b/ in jug or bib, black or purple, apple or band? Then as a group have the students make the /b/ hand gesture when they hear the sound in the following words: book, tree, mail, crab, blue, pink, bug.


7. Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about some things that start with the letter B. If you want to find out what they are, you need to read the story. Ask students to think of some other things that start with B and have them draw a picture and use invented spelling to spell the word.


8. Show BAD and model how to decide if it is bad or mad. The B tells me that my heart is beating, so this word is bbbb-ad, bad. You try some: LOG or BOG, BEAT or HEAT, SEND or BEND, BAND or HAND, LOOK or BOOK?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step

#8. Worksheet: 




Amanda Bates Bouncing B Lesson. 2001.


Click here to return to the realizations page