Emergent Literacy Design

Heartbeats with B: Learning the phoneme /b/


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /b/, the phoneme represented by B. Students will learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words by learning meaningful representation (heartbeats) and the letter symbol B, practice finding /b/ words, and apply phoneme awareness with /b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Chart with “Ben brings beautiful blue butterflies”; Primary paper and pencil; crayons; Word cards with BAT, BUNNY, BOAT, BOOK, BAKE and BELL; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /b/; The Big Bad Bat by Veronica Angel (URL below).


Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves as we say words. Today we are going to work on spotting the mouth move for /b/. We spell /b/ with letter B. /b/ sounds like your heartbeat and looks like a hear cut in half.

2. Say: Lets pretend we are doctors and are checking heartbeats, /b/, /b/, /b/. (Demonstrate with hand over heart and pat your heartbeat) Notice where your lips are? (They touch). When we say /b/ our lips touch and quick puff of air is being forced through our mouth.

3. Say: Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word cabin. I'm going to stretch cabin out in super slow motion and listen for the heartbeat Cc-a-a-bb-i-i-nn. Slower: Ccc-a-a-a-bbb-i-i-i-nnn. There it was! I felt my lips touch and a puff of air come out of my mouth. I can hear a heartbeat /b/ in cabin.

4. Say: Now lets try a tongue tickler [on chart]. “Ben brings beautiful blue butterflies”. Lets all say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /b/ at the beginning of the words. "BBBen bbbrings bbbeautiful bbblue bbbutterflies” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/b/en /b/rings /b/eautiful /b/lue /b/utterflies.

5. [Next, have the students take out a piece of primary paper and a pencil]. We use letter B to spell /b/. Capital B looks like a heart cut in half. Lets draw the upper case B. First you start at the rooftop and make a line going straight down to the sidewalk. Go back to the rooftop and around to the middle. Now start at the middle and go and around to the sidewalk. Practice writing uppercase letter B nine times. Let's write the lowercase letter b. Start at the top of the rooftop and make a line going straight down to the side wak. Then start at the middle and go to the right down and all the way around to the sidewalk. I want to see everybody's b. After I put a smile on it, 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 bat or mouse? bowl or cup? bag or purse? book or story? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /b/ in some words. Pat your heartbeat once if you hear /b/: The, bear, boot, yellow, bug, bright, basket, to, brave, class.

7. Show the word card BAT and model how to decide if it is bat or cat: The B tells me to pat my heartbeat, /b/, so this word is bbb-at, bat. You try some: BUNNY: bunny or funny? BOAT: coat or boat? BOOK: book or cook? BELL: yell or bell? BAKE: cake or bake?

8. Now we are going to read the book The Big Bad Bat by Veronica Angel. This story is about a man named Bab and a woman named Pam. Pam gets a toy rat in a bag. Bob and Pam try to catch the Big Bad Bat with the toy rat. Lets read the story to find out what happens.

9. For assessment pass out the worksheet attached and crayons. Students are to complete the worksheet individually. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures of images that begin with B. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step number seven.



My Beating Heart by Beth Harrelson




Big Bad Bat by Veronica Angel