Listen for Your Heart Beat



Emergent Literacy

Anna Lancaster


Rationale: In order to read, students must recognize letters and be aware of the sound, or phoneme that is associated with the letter. This lesson will help children identify /b/, the phoneme represented by the grapheme B. The students will be able to determine the phoneme in spoken words by corresponding gestures, tongue twisters, seeing the grapheme in written text and easy mouth movements.



2 pieces of primary paper for each student

Pencil for each student

White board/chalkboard

Word list on cards: buzz, school, bonus, dog, sit, black, win, bus, bug

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Written by Bill Martin and Illustrated by Eric Carle

Assessment worksheet- identifying pictures with /b/, (URL at the bottom).



Say: There are many letters that make up the alphabet. In fact, there are twenty-six in all! Sometimes it is hard to remember the sound each letter makes. Today we are going to focus on /b/.


Ask students: "Does anybody know what sound the letter B makes? We make the sound /b/ when we see the letter B. Have you ever heard a heart beat go /b/ /b//b/ /b/? Thats the mouth move we are going to look for in words. Let's pretend that we are doctors listening to our hearts through a stethoscope, say /b/ (pat your heart when you make the sound). Make your heart beat slowly: /b/. /b/./b/. Now make your heart beat fast: /b/ /b//b/ /b/."


Say: "Now let's try a tongue twister together (have it written on the board). "Ben Black blows big blue bubbles". 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. BBBBBen BBBBlack bbbblows bbbbig bbbblue bbbbubbbles. Great job! Now let's try breaking the /b/ sound off the word like this: /b/en /b/lack /b/lows /b/ig /b/lue /b/u/bb/les.


Say: "Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word club. I'm going to stretch out club in slow motion and you listen for the heart beat. Ccc-lll-uu-bbb. Did you hear the heart beat? I did!" 


Pass out primary paper and pencil to students. "We can use the letter b to write /b/. To write an uppercase B we start at the rooftop and draw a straight line to the sidewalk, and then pick up your pencil. Start back at the rooftop and make a half 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 on your paper. Now let's write the lowercase letter b. Start at the rooftop and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk then 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, write 9 more on your paper."


Say: "Let's practice recognizing b's in words. I'm going to show you a word and if it has a b in it I want you to pat your chest." Show the students the cards one at a time. Words will be: buzz, school, bonus, dog, sit, black, win, bus, and bug.


Call on students to answer: Do you hear /b/ in bake or lake? Bad or mad? Box or fox? Ball or fall? cab or tab? Book or look?


Say: "Now we are going to read a book called Brown Bear, Brown Bear. This book is written by Eric Carle and it is about a brown bear that sees many different animals and colors throughout the story. Can anyone guess what colors might be in this book that begins with the letter b? While I am reading this story I want you to pat your chest every time you hear the sound /b/."


Assessment: In order to assess the students' learning of the letter B, they will write the uppercase and lowercase form of b on a piece of primary paper. The students will then be given a worksheet with different objects on them and asked to circle the objects starting with the letter B. The students will receive a sticker once the activity is completed.



Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Written by Bill Martin and Illustrated by Eric Carle. Henry Holt and Co. September 15, 1996.


Assessment worksheet

Reading Genie Website

 Bouncing the Basketball with B by Marianna Waits

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