The B-b-b-b-bouncing Basketball

 By: Savannah Roberts

Rationale: This lesson was designed to teach kindergarteners how to detect the phoneme /b/ in spoken words. Students will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (sound of a ball bouncing) and the letter symbol, practice finding /b/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /b/ by having students perform a hand gesture when they hear /b/. This lesson will guide students to understand the correspondence of b = /b/ and assist them in reading and writing with this correspondence.


Word Cards: ball, bug, bath, cat, & bus

Primary paper and pencil

White Board and Dry Erase markers

Plain paper


The book, “Little Basketball” By: Brad Herzog

Assessment worksheet


Say: Did you know that the language that we speak, read, and write is much like a secret code? The tricky part is what the letters stand for and the way our mouth moves as we say words. See how my lips are pressed together as I make the /b/ sound? Today we are going to become secret agent code breakers by spotting the mouth move /b/. We spell /b/ with the letter Bb.


Have you ever heard a basketball being dribbled on the ground? It sounds like this b-b-b-b-b (doing the hand gesture when saying the sound). Does anyone notice what your mouth is doing? Right, your lips are pressed together when you say the b sound. Let’s practice the /b/ phoneme while doing the hand gesture dribbling the ball...B-b-b-b-b. Great job!


Let me show you how I would check to see if the /b/ is in a word or not. I am checking for a /b/ like the sound we hear when a basketball is being bounced on the floor: What about /b/ /a/ /l/ /l/, I do hear /b/ at the beginning of ball. Let me check bug: /b/, /bug/ - there' s the /b/ in bug. Now I am going to check cat: /ca/, /cat/. There is no /b/ in cat.


Let' s try a tongue tickler [on poster]. “Bobby bounced the basketball into the bush”. Everyone say it together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ in each of the words /bbbbb/. Bbbbobby bbbbounced the bbbbasketball into the bbbbushes.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “/B/obby the /b/ounced the /b/asketball into the /b/ushes. Great job!


[Have the students take out primary paper and pencil.] We use the letter B to spell /b/. [Model on the board how to write the letter as you walk the students through the process verbally.] To write a Capital B, you go straight down the sidewalk; around for his big chest, and around for his big tummy. Let's write the lowercase letter b. First start at the roof, go down, b-bbounce up and around. I want to see everyone's b's. After I check it and give you a sticker, I want you to make nine more just like it.


Now let's see if we hear the /b/ sound in spoken words. Do you hear /b/ in cap or bat? [Call on student for each set of words.] bus or dog? bed or tap? nest or bell? Let's see if you can spot the mouth move in some words. I want everyone to do the bouncing ball hand gesture with your hand every time you hear the /b/: cap, bat, bus, dog, bed, tap, nest, bell, nest.


Now let's read the book, Little Basketball. This book has lots of good rhyming words, as well as fun riddles. As I read, I want you to do the hand gesture every time you hear /b/. When we are done reading, I am going to let you draw a picture of something that starts with the /b/ sound.[Pass out paper and crayons, and after they are finished then display their work.]


Show BED and model how to decide if it is bed or rod. The B makes me do the hand gesture as if I am bouncing a basketball, /b/, so the word with the correct sound is bbbbb-e-d. Now you try BET: sat or bet? BET: get or bat? bad: met or bad?


For assessment, distribute the worksheet.

Students are to match the correct B word with the correct picture. If time permits, the students can color the pictures that have circled. Call the students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step 8.




Little Basketball; Herzog, Brad.

Kristi Woods- Buzz the Bumblebee

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