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Introduce /b/

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Activity Type: Introduce
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: K
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 5 minutes

Goal: Given a printed letter, the student can say its sound ( a -> /a/ )
Items: b

What to do

  1. Write the letter b on the board; make it at least a foot tall. Alternatively, use a letter card large enough for the whole group to see easily.
  2. The sound for this letter is /b/. (Say the /b/ sound as in bat.) When you say /b/, you close your lips and gently blow them open with your voice box on: /b/. Touch your throat to make sure your voice box is on when you say it: /b/. What's the sound? Avoid saying /buh/ else later you will have students sounding out /buh-at/ and /buh-ed/. The sound you want is the sound at the end of /mob/. What's the sound?
  3. Look for students who are not saying the sound. Ask them: What's the sound? Look for students who are making the wrong sound and model the sound for them until they have it right. Well done everyone.
  4. We use the /b/ sound to begin words like boy, big, book, back, brown. Can you tell me some other words that begin with /b/?
  5. Erase b. Now write 12 letters on the board (arrange them randomly): 4 of the letters should be b and they should be interspersed with 8 other letters dissimilar in appearance to b, such as w and e.
  6. When I point to the letter we just learned, say its sound. When I point to any other letter, you have to stay quiet. My turn first. Point to a series of letters and either say the sound or make a performance of saying nothing, as appropriate.
  7. Your turn. Ready? Point to letters randomly, holding on each one for a few seconds.
  8. If a student says the sound for one of the other letters (not b), point to b and say: You only need to make a sound for this letter. When I point to any other letter, stay quiet. Ready? Look for individuals who are saying nothing when you point to b. Have those students try letters individually until they have it (but don’t call only on struggling students). Keep going until everyone has it.
  9. Optional for students who confuse b and d: It is quite common for students to confuse letters b and d. One mnemonic you can introduce your students to is to write "b d" in large letters and turn them into a bed. Draw "b d". This is how to tell /b/ from /d/. This is /b/; this is /d/. I can make them into a bed, watch. /b/ /e/ /d/, bed. That helps me remember that this is /b/ and this is /d/. If I mix them up, (draw "d b") I can't make a bed because the mattress falls down in the middle.
Image: Bed deb.JPG

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