Blowing B-B-B-Balloons for the Birthday bash!

Emergent Literacy Design


Tijera Marshall


Throughout this lesson, students will be able to practice identifying and becoming aware of the phoneme /b/ which is represented by the letter B. By learning a meaningful representation, identifying the sound in spoken words, and applying phoneme awareness through phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters, students will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil with eraser; chart with "best bubble bath before bed"; Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book (2002); drawing paper and crayons; word cards with BAT, BEG, CARS, FIND, BUG, and BITE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/.


1. Say: Our Alphabet is top secret, a very secret code. Even though secret codes may seem to be hard to learn, it’s not very hard at all. The letters in the alphabet are pronounced by moving your mouth. That is how you say words. Today, we are going to focus on how our mouths move for the sound /b/. This sound is represented by the letter B. So, we spell /b/ with the letter B, and  /b/ sounds like blowing up a balloon very gently.

2. Let's practice blowing balloons by making the /b/ sound, /b/, /b/, /b/ (Show blowing up a balloon). Each time we say /b/, our top lip and bottom lip has to touch. Let’s try to say /b/ without touching your top and bottom lip together. Is it possible? Can anybody do it? It isn’t possible. So, /b/ is unique because you can only make the sound by your top and bottom lip touching each other.

3. Let’s try to find the sound /b/ in a word. Let’s try the word cabs. We are going to say it very, very slow, stretching out each sound.   Ccc-a-a-abs.  Slower: Ccc-a-a-a-bbb-s, Raise your hand if you heard the /b/ sound.  Both our top and bottom lips touched when we said cabs.

4. Since we found the /b/ in cabs so well, let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. “best bubble bath before bed." Let’s all say it three times together. Good Job! Now say it again, let’s make sure we stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. I really want to hear the /b/. "Bbbest bbbubble bbbath bbbefore bbbed.”, that was awesome! Now, let’s do it again, but we’re going to break the /b/ sound off of the word,  "/b/ est  /b/ ubble /b/ ath /b/ efore /b/ ed.”

5. [Pass out Primary Paper and Pencils]. We use letter B(b) to spell /b/. Now we are going to learn how to write the letter b. First I will show you how to write it and then I will let everyone practice. To make the lowercase b, start at the rooftop, and go down to the sidewalk. Draw a little tummy now instead of a big tummy. Allow students to practice letter b with their primary writing paper. Now we are going to learn how to write uppercase B. I'll show you first. Start at the rooftop and go straight down the sidewalk, around for his big chest, and around for his big tummy. Allow students to practice writing B.

 6. Call on students to answer and explain why they chose that answer: Do you hear /b/ in Big or Small? Black or White? Sell or Buy? Back or front? Tub or Shower? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words. Blow a balloon up by filling your cheeks with air if you hear /b/:  sun, butter, bumble bee, slide, jars, base, sub, sit, rain.

7. Say: “The story we are going to read today is about Beverly. She has her own library card, and checked out a book. But, when Beverly learns her book is overdue, she is terrified. She wonders what is going to happen to her.  Read the book and every time the students hear the /b/ sound they should fill their cheeks with air like they are blowing a balloon up.

8. Show BAT and model how to decide if it is bat or mat: The B tells me to blow up the balloon, /b/, so this word is bbb-at, bat.  You try some: BEG: beg or peg? CARS: cars or bars? Bind: Bind or Find? BUG: mug or bug? BITE: bite or site?

9. Students will do the phonetic cue reading in step 8 individually. For assessment, pass out the worksheet and crayons. Students will color the pictures that begin with B.


Stadler, A.  Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book. Harcourt Children's Books; 1st edition. 2002.

B-B-Brrrrr Says the Bear by Jamie Storey

Blowin’ Bubbles with B by Ashley Runyon