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1.13: Lesson Thirteen

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

The Consonant Sound [b]

1. Underline the letters that spell the sound [b] in the following words:


2. Now sort the words into these two groups. Be careful! One word goes into both groups:

Words with [b] spelled ...
<b> <bb>
blue bridge hobby
above before bubble
between bottom cabbage
better about rabbit
below number robber
because brother crabby
bubble behind

3. Two ways of spelling the sound [b] are <b> and <bb>.

4. Two ways of spelling the sound [p] are <p> and <pp> Did you remember the pointed brackets?

Word Squares. All of the seventeen words below contain the sounds [p] or [b].

Fit the words into the squares. Count letters carefully and try to think ahead about your choices. Start with those words about which you can be absolutely sure:

Two-letter word: be

Three-letter words: pop, apt, lap, pit

Four-letter words: upon, stop, herb, rubs, nobs

Five-letter words: below, happy

Six-letter words: before, crabby, people

Seven-letter word: bubbles

Ten-letter word: helicopter

Teaching Notes.

  1. About 95% of the time [b] is spelled <b> and more than 99% of the time it is spelled either <b> or < bb >. Lessons 17-19 of Book Five show how we can predict with certainty when to choose <b> and when to choose <bb>. The only other known spelling of [b] is <pb> in the words cupboard, clapboard, raspberry, and Campbell. This <pb> spelling of [b] is the mirror image of the <bp> spelling of [p] in subpoena, and it is produced by the same phenomenon: When two stop sounds that are produced at the same point in the mouth come right next to one another in a word, the first sound gets dropped, though the letter often stays in the spelling. (The stops [p] and [b], called bilabial stops, are both pronounced at the two lips.)
  2. In this Word Squares the two words stop and upon can involve the students in that logic of implication that was discussed earlier: If they try to fill in the stop row before the upon row, they will not have enough information to choose with certainty between stop and upon, since the only thing they can know about the word is that it is a four-letter word with the next-to-last letter an <o>, and both stop and upon fit that description. They can, however, get enough information about the upon row to choose upon with certainty, leaving only stop for the stop row.

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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