Teaching "b" and "d" with Word Art, Songs & Technology September 20 2009

wordartbee"b" "d" Confusion

We all know how common it is for children just beginning to read & write to have "b" "d" confusion. Here are a few fun activities to do with the students that will help many of them remember the difference.


"A line and circle is the letter "b".

A circle and a line is the letter d."

(PBS, Word World, 9/14/09)

Sing the song as you write each letter on the board.

Then, students sing the song as they write the letters.

After practicing "b" and "d", as you write the letters make the word "bed". Explain that the "b" is like a pillow in the bed. (See the word art below of "bed").

Word World - The PBS Cartoon

Have you ever seen the PBS cartoon, Word World? They have an episode about "b" and "d" confusion entitled, Bed Bugs. If you are able to record Word World andwordartbed keep it on hand for specific lessons, it can be a fun way to supplement classroom lessons. I really wish they would offer an online archive of these episodes under specific lesson plan categories, such as "b" "d" confusion. They do have an episode about "b" "d" confusion. The characters actually made a bed (out of the letters) and sang the above song. Until an online archive of episodes is offered to teachers, recording episodes and keeping them in your classroom video library is a great idea.

They do offer online Word World Educational Games. I highly recommend saving this link for your students and using it during computer lab. Studying the games and assigning specific games depending on reading and writing assessment results can really help catapult students to the next level of learning. You could even assign specific games for homework! It may be helpful to put this link on your classroom website (if you have one).

Word Art

You can make words into art. For example, the word "cat" can actually become a cat.wordartcat

Here's some "b" & "d" word art with sketches of each one:

  • dog
  • bed
  • bee
  • bug

When I was a child, I had learned how to make the cat. So, when I saw the Word World cartoon with my daughter it brought back memories of creating "word art".

It will be fun to see if the kids are able to come up with some of their own words, too.

Feeling the Letters - Kinesthetic Learning

Help students identify lowercase letters and learn to correctly print them with  these textured tracing cards. Green dots show where to begin tracing and red dots show where to stop. Directional arrows teach correct letter formation.


Share Your Ideas

If you have an idea about teaching "b" "d" or word art, feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.