Bouncing B's and Dancing D's

Danielle Ivey

Emergent Literacy


Rationale: Students must be able to distinguish letters for effective phonological awareness. And many students confuse the letters b and d because the two letters look very similar. This lesson will teach students to look at the characteristics of the letters; therefore, being able to distinguish between the two.


Materials: Popsicle sticks, glue, cards with b and d written on them(these will be glued onto the popsicle sticks), notecards with b words(such as: boy, bank, book, bear) and notecards with d words(such as: dog, doll, dip, dull), primary paper for each student, pencil for each student, dry-erase board that has primary paper lines on it, dry erase marker, book(Big Smelly Bear), worksheet



1. I will explain to the students that we will be learning about the letters b and d and how sometimes they can be confusing but we will learn how to tell them apart. "I know b's and d's look a lot alike, but today we will learn the difference between the letters."


2. I will write a b on the dry erase board (that looks like primary paper) and then I will write a d on the board. First I will ask the students what letters I wrote on the board and in order to access background knowledge I will ask the students to make the b sound and the d sound and then some words that make the b sound and some words that make the d sound.


3. "The letter b makes a /b/sound. Can you make a /b/ sound?"

 "The letter d makes a /d/ sound. Can you make a /d/ sound?"


4. "Now I am going to show you some notecards that have words on them that start with the letters b or d. When I hold them up I will read them and then I want you to say the word back to me." Then I will ask the students if each word starts with a b sound or a d sound.


5. Once I see if they can distinguish telling the difference by seeing the letters, then I want to see if they can tell the difference between the sounds just by listening. I will ask them:

Do you hear /b/ in boy or girl?

Do you hear /b/ in dog or bear?

Do you hear /d/ in date or mate?

Do you hear /d/ in dare or bear?


6. "Now let's try a tongue twister, but every time we hear a b or d sound let's streeeeetch it out. I will say it first then we will say it together streeetching out the b and d words. Let's start with b. Bbbonnie the bbbug bbbit a bbbig bbbrown bbbear. Now let's try d. Dddiane the dddolphin dddances in her dddreams."


7. "Now I am going to give each of you a piece of primary paper and a pencil and I want you to write three b's and three d's. But first I am going to show you exactly how they are written. Ok, let's start with b. First start up at the rooftop, go down to the sidewalk and bbbounce up to the fence and around." Now do it with me. On your own paper I want you to write three b's. Now let's write a lowercase d. Does everyone know how to write a c? Well first we will write a lowercase c and then turn it into a d by adding a line. Now let's do it together. Ok I want you to write three d's on your paper."


8. "Now we will read the book Big Smelly Bear. Big Smelly Bear never takes a bath and doesn't have any friends because or it. But what happens when one day we needs a friends help? Will he take a bath? Let's read this story to find out. Every time you hear or see a b or d I want you to hold up your popsicle stick with that letter on it.


 Assessment: I will not only be able to assess their primary paper to see how they wrote their b's and d's, but I am also going to give them a worksheet with pictures of things that start with a b or a d and ask them to circle the corresponding item that starts with a b or d.



Murray, Bruce. Teaching Letter Recognition.

Teckentrup, Britta. Big Smelly Bear. Scholastic Inc. 2007. 34 pp.

Return to the Sightings index