Boing Boing Bunnies With B

Emergent Literacy

By: Jennifer Bruha


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 (bouncing bunnies) 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.



Primary paper and pencil; Michael Catchpool’s Where There’s a Bear, There’s Trouble; poster drawing with sentence “Boing boing bunnies bounce backwards”; word cards with BAND, BACK, BARK, BRICK, SANG, FLOW, BEAR; assessment worksheet identifying both uppercase B and lowercase b with /b/:



1) Say: “Our written language is like a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for, and what moves we make with our mouths as we say words. Today we are going to focus on the mouth move /b/. We spell /b/ with letter B. B kind of looks like a bunny sitting up.” [Refer to poster drawing]


2) Say: “Let’s picture a bunny bouncing. You can look at the poster to help you imagine it, if you like. What kind of sound do you think of when you hear the word ‘bounce’? As in, a bouncing bunny? Yes, sort of like boing, boing, boing. And what sound does boing or bounce start with? With /b/. When we say /b/, we bring our lips together, and let the air explode out of our lips in one short puff. We also use some of our voice when we explode the air out of our lips.” [Show lips pressing together]


3) Say: “Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word cubby. I’m going to stretch cubby out in slow motion and listen for /b/, the same noise that starts bounce. Cc-uuu-bb-yyy. Slower: Ccc-uuuuu-bbb-yyyyy. I heard it! I felt my lips come together to explode some air out with my voice! I can feel the bouncing /b/ in cubby.”


4) Say: “Let’s try a tongue twister [bring attention back to poster drawing]. ‘Boing boing bunnies bounce backwards.’ We will say it two more times together. Now, we are going to say it slower, stretching out that bouncing /b/ at the beginning of the words. “Bbbboing bbboing bbbbunnies bbbounce bbbbackwards.” We’ll try it one more time, and this time, we are going to completely break off the /b/ from the words. ‘/b/oing /b/oing /b/unnies /b/ounce /b/ackwards.’”


5) Give primary paper and pencils to students. Say: “We use the letter B to spell our bouncing /b/. Capital B looks like a bunny sitting up. Let’s write the lowercase b. Start at the rooftop and come all the way down to the ground. Then bounce back up to the fence, and come around. I want to see your b’s. Once I put a check on your paper, I would like you to make nine more.”


6) Practice with students, asking them if they hear /b/ in: bad or good? Bottle or glass? Make or break? Corn or cob? February or March? Call on students for each option, and ask how they knew the correct answer once they have given it. Say: “Let’s see if we can tell when we put our lips together to explode air to make the /b/ sound. Bounce like a bunny if you hear /b/: The, bouncing, bunny, went, back, to, the, bread, bakery.”


7) Say: “Let’s look at a book called Where There’s a Bear, Ther’s Trouble! This book tells us about a brown bear that chases a bee to find honey.” Read pages 1-4, and have students bounce like a bunny when they hear /b/. Then ask students if they can think of other animals that start with /b/, real or made-up. Have each student write their animal’s name down on paper and draw a picture of their animal. Display work.


8) Show BACK and model how to decide if it is back or sack: The B tells me to bounce like a bunny, /b/, so this word is bbb-ack, back. Now you try some: BAND: band or sand? BARK: mark or bark? BRICK: brick or trick? SANG: sang or bang? FLOW: blow or flow? BEAR: bear or tear?


9) For assessment, distribute poem worksheet. Students are to circle every capital B and underline every lowercase b. They may color the picture if they wish. Also, assess individually using the activity from step #8. Poem worksheet:



Murray, Bruce. Making Sight Words. Linus Publications, Inc., 2012.

Murray, Geri. M…m Good! I Say With M, an Emergent Literacy Design.

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