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Emergent Literacy Design

Billy Bounced the Ball

Emergent Literacy Design


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 (bounce) 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 "Billy bounced the ball by Broadway"; drawing paper and crayons; Little Basketball by Brad Herzog; word cards with BALL, BUG, BATH, MAT, & BUS; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/.


1. Say: The language we speak, read, and write is similar to a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /b/. We spell /b/ with letter B

2. Have you ever listened to the sound that a ball makes when it is being dribbled?  It sounds like this b-b-b-b-b (use hand gestures when creating this sound).  What do you notice about the way your mouth is moving as you are making that sound?  Great job! Your lips are pressed together while you make the b sound.  Let’s practice the /b/ phoneme while doing the hand gesture of dribbling a ball… b-b-b-b-b. Perfect!

3. Let me show you how to find if /b/ is in a word or not. When I say the words, listen for the sound that /b/ makes like when we dribbled a basketball.  Let’s talk about ball; b-b-b-b-a-a-a-a-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l.  I do hear /b/ at the beginning of ball.  Now, let’s check bug; b-b-b-b-u-u-u-u-g-g-g-g. I hear a /b/ in bug as well.  You are doing great! Lastly, let’s look at mat; m-m-m-m-a-a-a-a-t-t-t-t.  There is no /b/ in mat.

4. Let's try a tongue twister (on chart). ""Billy bounced the ball by Broadway"." Everybody say it three times together and dribble a ball each time you hear /b/. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. "Bbbbilly bbbbounced the bbbball bbbby Bbbbroadway." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/B/illy /b/ounced the /b/all /b/y /B/roadway."

5. (Have student take out primary paper and pencil). We use letter to spell /b/. Capital B looks like a butterfly flying.  Let's write the lowercase letter b. Start at the rooftop, draw a line down to the sidewalk, then trace back up the fence. Before you get to the top, make a hump up to the fence then go down towards the sidewalk but stop at the sidewalk and connect it with the line from the fence.  After I check it and you receive a stamp, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /b/ in balloon or fallBag or richStop or boneAbrupt or call? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /r/ in some words. Act like you are dribbling a basketball when you hear /b/: balloon, fall, bag, richstop, bone, abrupt, call.

7. Say: "Now, let’s read the book, Little Basketball.  This book has a lot of fun riddles and great rhyming words.  As I read, I want you all to pretend to dribble a basketball every time you hear /b/.  After we are finished reading the book, I am going to pass out drawing paper.  You are going to draw a picture of something that starts with the /b/ sound. After the students complete their drawing, display their work somewhere in the classroom.

 8. Show BALL and model how to decide if it is ball or call: The B tells me to do the hand gestures of dribbling a basketball, /b/, so the word with the correct sound is bbbbb-a-l-l. Now you try BAT: sat or bat? BET: set or bet? BAD: bad or mad?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.

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



Little Basketball; Herzog, Brad.


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