My young learners in my classroom, like yours, are still learning their letters and sounds. Last week in guided reading I had taken a large number of anecdotal notes that specified that my students really needed some more help identifying the letter b. Therefore, I directed my lessons this week to really work on helping my students recognize this letter.
I wanted to use a text that my students were familiar with to help build their confidence. I turned to the help of one of my favorite resources: nursery rhymes!! “Baa Baa Black Sheep” was PERFECT for this week.
Not only is the text short and sweet and to the point but the sound /b/ is repeated over and over again.
My lessons this week are all about looking for, finding, and writing the letter b. I quickly wrote the nursery rhyme on an anchor chart and have been referring to it all week. In class we are singing the song and chanting the rhyme. (This helps the students who did not know the rhyme!)
In guided reading my students used highlighting tape to highlight the letter b.
After we found all the bs, we practiced reading the rhyme. My students also counted the number of words in each sentence.
After this activity, my students hunted through a sensory bin to find all the letter bs that they could find. (I had put letter cubes into the tray)
Finally, we practiced writing the letter b on dry erase boards and drew pictures that started with the sound /b/. The whole guided reading lesson took about 18 minutes in total and included everything I wanted to hit: identifying the letter b, reading with fluency, listening for words in sentences, writing the letter b, and drawing pictures with /b/ as their beginning sound.
Best yet, after our literacy block, I had some of the readers from this group model how to sing and point to the words on the chart and they felt SO proud of themselves for being able to read (sing) the whole rhyme to their friends.
You could replicate this lesson with ANY letter/sound. Simply pick a familiar rhyme and go for it!