Bouncing B’s and Dribbling D’s

Hayle Lipham

Emergant Literacy


Beginning readers will become fluent readers by recognizing letters and the sounds that accompany them. Often many beginning readers have trouble with the letters b and d because they look alike. For beginning readers who have difficulty with recognizing these letters often mix them up causing the student to pronounce a word wrong. In this lesson, children will have a chance to gain a better understanding of the letters b and d. They will have the opportunity to read and write, pronounce and hear these letters.  


Lined Paper


Dry-Erase Board

Marker and Eraser

Pink Index Cards - Print b on index card and attach to popsicle stick (1 for each student)

Purple Index Cards – Print d on index card and attach to popsicle stick (1 for each student)

Popsicle Sticks


Printed Pictures of ball, box, baker, bear, bat

Printed Pictures of door, desk, dog, deer, duck

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault c1999. Weston Woods Studios, Inc.


"Today we are going to learn about two letters that can be very tricky. The two letters are b- hold up your b pink card and we are also learning about the letter d- hold up your d purple card, Great job. As a class what sound does the letter b make? Good job, the letter b does make the b=/b/ sound. One more time let's make the b sound as a class. Now as a class what sound does the letter d make? Great job, the letter d does make the d=/d/ sound. One more time, what sound does the d make? I am so proud of you guys!"'

 "Okay class now we are going to say some funny tongue twisters. First I will say them and then we will say them together.
First we will say a tongue twister for letter b:
Bobby Bear bounced his ball in the barn.
Now say it with me. Great job class! I will now say our tongue twister for the letter d.
Donnie danced to Doctor Danny’s drum.
Now say it with me. Wonderful job, you all did so well!"

 "Now let's take out our lined paper and our pencils. We are going to practice writing our two letters b and d.  First I am going to model for you on the board how to write the little b. Starting at the rooftop you will go down to the sidewalk bounce up to the fence and around. Now students you try to write a lower case b and say go down, bounce up and around." Great job, I love hearing everyone say it! Okay now class lets practice writing our lower case b eight more times." While the children are writing I will walk around to see how each child is doing (I will give assistance where it is needed).  "Now class we are going to write our lower class d. We all should remember how to write our friendly lower case letter c, (this should be their background knowledge). I am going to show you first on the board, while I am writing I will say the phrase "for little d, first make little c and then little d.  Now class I want each of you to practice on your paper. Great job everyone! Now let's write our little d eight more times." While the students are writing, I will walk around to give assistance.

 "Let's take out our pink and purple cards. I will have pictures of different things that start with the letters b and d." I will hold up the pictures at random and I will ask the class what the picture is. "Okay class after we have figured out what the picture is, then you will raise the correct card to match what sound you hear the pink card for b=/b/ sound or the purple card for d=/d/."  
These are the words that I will have pictures of:
ball, box, baker, bear, bat
door, desk, dog, deer, duck

"Okay class now that we have gained a better understanding of our tricky letters b and d, we are going to read a book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom." Give booktalk: "This is a coconut tree, letter a and all her other friends try to get up the tree. What do you think will happen? We have to read it to find out.  Let’s get our pink and purple cards ready. Okay class while I am reading and I say a word that starts with b I want you to hold up your b pink card and if I say a word that starts with d I want you to hold up your d purple card. Okay let’s get on our listening ears!"


Students will be assessed throughout the entire lesson, but mostly during the time they write the letters and during step four. I will take up their writing they did during class and I will look at each individuals work to give feedback. In step four, with more participation from the children I can tell how well the children fully understand.


Murray, Bruce. Teaching Letter Recognition.
Return to the Sightings index.