Bang on Drums with B

Emergent Literacy Design

By Tony Beaird



Rationale: 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 (banging on drums) 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.


Materials: Primary paper and pencils; chart with "Bill's big box becomes bothersome for Bough."; drawing paper and crayons; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? big book by Martin Bill; word cards with BOX, BALL, MET, BARK, PUG, and BAKE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/


1.) Introduce the lesson by explaining to students that each letter in the alphabet has its very own sound and review what they know about the letter A. We must know how the mouth moves and the sound before we can read and write it. Today we are going to learn all about the letter B. The letter b makes the /b/ sound, like in ball. It's also the sound a drum makes.


2.) "Let's pretend we're all banging on drums, like a marching band. Instead of hitting anything, I just everyone to stay with me and swing their arms and make the drum sound with their mouths only. It goes: boom.....boom.....boom." Now everyone do it silently. Notice how our mouths are moving when we make the /b/ sound in 'boom' and 'ball'. They both have the same beginning sound because they both start with a B!"


3.) "Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. 'Bill's big box becomes bothersome for Bough.' Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. 'Bbbill's bbbig bbbox bbbecomes bbbothersome for Bbbough.' Try it again, and

this time break it off the word: /b/ ill's  /b/ ig  /b/ ox  /b/ ecomes  /b/ othersome for /b/ ough."


4. (Have students take out their pencils and primary paper). "We can use the letter b to spell /b/. Let's try writing it. I will start at the roof and make a line going all the way down to the sidewalk. Now, keep your pencil on the same line and trace back up from the sidewalk to the fence. From the fence make a half circle to the sidewalk, connecting with your line. Now you all try as I come around to check your b. Now, everyone make nine more. You're making the /b/ sound on paper!"


5. Call on students (whose hands are raised) and ask how they knew: "Do you hear a /b/ in good or bad? Big or small? Batman or Joker? Bingo or coloring? Table or chair?"





6.)Begin a book talk and read-aloud with the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and have the students point out words that contain a /b/. Have students pretend that Brown Bear can only see things that contain a /b/. Students will come up with at least 1 animal or thing and 1 made up /b/ animal or thing using invented spelling. Display their work.


7.) Show BOX and model how to decide if it is box or fox: "The B tells me it makes the sound of a drum, which is boom, so this word is bbb-ox, box. You try some:  BALL: mall or ball? MET: bet or met? BARK: bark or mark? PUG: bug or pug? BAKE: bake or fake?"


8.) 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 7.



Bell, Elizabeth. Slinky Scaly Snakes.


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