B and D: Action Activity

Lowercase Letters B and DLetters B and D
Text by CK Emanuel

B and D were walking down the street.
B was in front with his belly before him;
D brought up the rear with his derrière.
Both greeted all they happened to meet.

Concept Source: The idea of b having a “belly” was an instruction method used in an old dusty work binder to aid visual discrimination skills. No citations noted.

Participation: Ages 2 and up

Skills Utilized: Letter Recognition, Visual Discrimination, Laterality and Directionality, Aid in Letter Reversals, Understanding of Text Direction (English: left to right; i.e, “the street”), Eye/Hand Coordination (for bean toss)

Possible Modifications: A more current teaching method is utilizing the “bed” concept by making both hands into fists with thumbs raised. When fists are put together, they form a “bed,” and the bump of the thumb reminds kids which direction is a b and which is a d (as long as they can spell bed).

However, it is worth noting that the humor of the belly/derrière seems to help keep the reference fresh in mind.To further illustrate this point, I’ve used giant balloons to turn the kids into “b’s” and “d’s.”

B and D bucket toss relay game is a crowd favorite. In different scripts/font, I print out various lowercase letters d and b. Those slips are then taped to the outside of buckets/bins. These buckets are spaced randomly throughout the area. The kids line up in 2-4 lines. If there are only two lines, I say and show an uppercase B or D. The kids will then try to toss a bean bag or ball into one of the buckets showing the lowercase letter. They only get one try per bag/ball.

If I know there will be a big crowd and therefore multiple lines, I either tape slips of paper showing the uppercase letters B and D on the bags/balls or I put a piece of painter’s tape on each bag/ball and write the uppercase letters B and D on it. The kids then try to get as many balls/bags into correct bins as possible. The team with the most balls/bags in the correct bins will be the winners.

Themes: letters “B” and “D”, Forwards/Backwards, Mirror, Body, can be related to any theme that begins with those letters.


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