B b b Bounce the Ball: Emergent Lesson Design

By: Kelsey Hendrix


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 ball) 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; chart with "Ben's blue ball bounces briskly."; drawing paper and crayon; Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards with BOG, BED, MEAT, FIND, BORN, and BAKE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/.


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /b/. We spell /b/ with the letter B. B looks like two bouncing balls, and /b/ sounds like we are bouncing a ball.

2. Let's pretend to bounce a ball, /b/, /b/, /b/. Pantomime bouncing a ball. Notice where your lips are, first they are close together and then when we say /b/ we blow out air and our lips aren't touching anymore.

3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word burn. I'm going to stretch burn out in super slow motion and listen for my ball bouncing. Bbb-uu-rrrr-nnn. Slower: Bbbbbb-uuuuuu-rrrrrrr-nnnnnnn. There it was! I felt my lips touch and then blew out air and my lips were no longer touching. I can feel the ball bouncing in burn.

4. Let's try a tongue twister now. Ben's blue ball bounces briskly. Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch out the /b/ at the beginning of the words. "Bbbbben's bbblue bbball bbbounces bbbriskly. Try it again, and this time break it off the word: /b/en's /b/lue /b/all /b/ounces /b/riskly.

5. Have students take out primary paper and a pencil. We use letter B to spell /b/. Capital B looks like to balls with a stick. Let's write lowercase letter b. Start at the roof and draw straight down to the sidewalk. Then put your pencil on the fence and draw a hump down to the sidewalk. After I check your work draw five more capital B's and lowercase b's.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in floor or bats? black or pink? do or bold? base or drop? belt or sore? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words. Bounce your ball if you hear /b/: The, baby, blue, truck, blug, flew, far, bold, pink.

7. Say: Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a funny creature whose name starts with B. Read page 2, drawing out /b/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /b/. Ask them to make up a silly creature name like Barber-baby-bitter-bopper, or booter-blipper-bang. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work.

8. Show BOP and model how to decide if it's bop or dop: The B tells me to bounce my ball, /b/, so this word is bbb-op, bop. You try some: BIT: bit or sit? BET: bet or met? FIND: find or mind? BOOK: book or look? BAKE: bake or make?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with B. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


Marcy Price- http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/pricemel.htm

Assessment Worksheet: http://www.tlsbooks.com/letterb_1.pdf

ABC, Dr. Seuss. Random House, 1963.

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