Boating with B

Tyler Nay


This lesson will help children identify the phoneme /b/ represented by the letter B. Students will learn to identify /b/ in spoken words, practice finding /b/ in words, learn to recognize /b/ in spoken words using the sound a boat makes in the water, and applying phonemic awareness with /b/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters. 


Tongue Tickler written on poster board: "Bob boats down the bubbling blue brook," primary paper and pencils, Letter B Book, Note Cards: Bet, Bop, Bit, But, Bat, Best, Bone, Balloon, and Assessment worksheet: (


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. We have to learn what letters stand for, and it can be tricky. The letters stand for the way our mouths move when we say a word. Today we are going to learn about the letter 'b' and to me the sound makes /b/. To me, /b/ sounds a bit like the sound a speedboat makes.

2. Let's pretend we are driving a speedboat, /b/, /b/, /b/. Notice where your lips are (pressed together) when you make the noise, and your lips are together until the air comes out to make the /b/ sound.

3. Let me show you how to find /b/ in the word bet. I am going to stretch out the word net in a slow motion and listen for the sound the speedboat makes. B-e-t. Slower: B-b-b-e-e-e-t-t-t. I felt it! I felt my lips touch together and then let the air out to make the /b/ sound.

4. Let's try a tongue tickler now. Bob boats down the bubbling blue brook. Great Job! Now let's say it twice in a row. Very Good! Now let's stretch it out the /b/ at the beginning of the words ' B-b-bob b-b-boats down the b-b-bubbling b-b-blue b-b-brook.' Try it again and break the /b/ off of the word: "/B/ob /b/oats down the /b/ubbling /b/lue /b/rook."

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter to spell /b/. Capital B starts at the rooftop and comes straight down. Then go around for his big chest, and around for his big tummy. For a lowercase b, start at the roof, go down, b-b-bounce up and around.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew. Do you hear /b/ in bet or job? Bean or nice? Bun or mad? Bite or nine? Say: Let's see if you can spot the sound of /b/ in some words and don't forget to drive our speedboat if you hear /b/: belt, near, bun, far, bail, bear, ten, niece, pick, bot. Good Job!

7. Now we are going to look at the B book. At this point I will have students listen to the story "The Best Nest".  While reading I will have the students do the "speedboat" sound and movement when they see or hear the letter B in the story.

8. Show BIG and model how to decide if it is big or fig: The tells me to drive a speed boat, /b/, so this word is bbb-ig, big. You try some: BIT: bit or pit? BEAR: bear or tear? BOW: tow or bow? BIND: bind or rind? BAN: bat or ban?

9. For the assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the spellings and color the drawings only with the picture that has the /b/ sound.


Worksheet: (

Book: The Best Nest by: P.D. Eastman

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