Bouncing Bs


Sammi Pike


Rationale:  Explicit instruction in learning the sounds that letters make and how the letters look is important because the names of many letters are good hints to the sounds that they make.  It is especially important with letters that are often confused, such as b and d.  In this lesson students will learn how their mouth should feel when they make the /b/ sound.  They will practice listening for the sound in words and they will also practice writing the letter.


Materials:  The Butter Battle Book, pencils, primary paper, worksheet, crayons, dry erase board with primary paper lines drawn on it, dry erase marker, worksheets, poster with the tongue tickler: Boys bounce basketballs off the backboard of the basket



1.  “When we say words, different letters make different sounds.  Today we are going to talk about how our mouth feels when we say the letter b.”

2.  Tell the students that when they make the sound that the letter b makes their lips bounce off of each other like a basketball bouncing on the ground.  Tell them to watch while you make the /b/ sound a few times and then have them join in.  Have students make the /b/ sound while pretending to bounce a ball.  Have the students listen for the sound in a few words that you say, such as bubble, batter, and book.  Use a few incorrect examples, suck as dog and monkey to make sure that they are getting it.

3.  Go over the tongue tickler poster with the class.  Read it to them first.  Have them repeat it with you.  Ask if anyone can tell you a word with a b in it.  Ask if the b is at the beginning, middle or end of the word.  Have them say it slower to emphasize the bs. 

4.  Pass out the primary paper and pencils.  “Now we are all going to practice writing the letter b.  Everyone watch me first before you pick up your pencil.”  Emphasize the bouncing b with: "Start at the rooftop, bounce down, bounce over and around."  Draw a b on the board while you say this.  Do it one more time while they write the letter on their own paper.  Tell them to write 5 bs while you walk around the room and check them. 

5.  See if students can detect the letter b in words.  “Is there a b in cake or bake? bog or fog? brag or flag? bicycle or tricycle."  If they are incorrect say the words slower emphasizing the b.

6.  Read Dr. Seuss’ The Butter Battle Book and have the kids detect the b as you read.  Make a list on the board as you go of some of the b words they hear.  Book talk:  The blue Yooks and the orange Zooks live on opposite sides of a wall.  They disagree about something very important to them and begin a war over it.  Who is going to win?

7.  Pass out the worksheet to use for assessing how well students understood your lesson.



-Lesson Idea:  Craig, Kimberly. "Bouncing B". Auburn University.

-Book: Dr. Seuss.  The Butter Battle Book.  Random House Books for Young Readers. 1984.



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