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How to Write the Alphabet: Bb Ee Dd

Updated on September 1, 2016

Writing Lesson Plan: Bb Ee Dd

Whether you are teaching young students to write in their native tongue, or teaching the English alphabet to your English learning students, this lesson can help you.

Lesson Target: Beginners at reading and writing the English alphabet

Prior Lessons Needed: Letters sitarmgnu. While each writing worksheet can stand alone, the reading lesson builds on previously learned letters. To start with the first writing lesson, Ss Ii Tt, go here.

Lesson Focus: writing and reading

  • Learn letters: Bb, Ee, Dd
  • Practice writing with writing worksheet
  • Silent E and long and short vowel song
  • Practice reading with story

Note: For reasons why the letters taught aren't in alphabetical order, see the explanation given in the S I T lesson. The short explanation is that the letters are taught out of order to avoid students memorizing the alphabet song rather than the individual letters.

Writing Worksheet


Learning the Letters: Bb Ee Dd

By now, you and your students should be used to the practice of introducing letters and sounds, as well as recognizing upper case letters and lower case letters.

This particular lesson has the added difficulty that a lower case b and a lower case d look exactly the same, except in reverse. I teach them together to help students recognize that they are different letters and that students need to remember which letter faces which way.

As you teach b and d, as a memory aid you might teach the word 'bed' and draw a picture of a bed with high posts at either end. Because the word 'bed' resembles that picture, if your students can remember how to say 'bed' and that picture, this might help them to remember which letter is 'b' and which is 'd'.

Writing Worksheet

You can find a copy of the writing worksheet here. To use it, simply print the worksheet and give it to your students. You should be able to print by right clicking with your mouse on the document and selecting 'print' or there may possible be a print icon at the top of the page. The worksheet includes writing practice for each of the letters, instructions on how to write the letters, and a picture illustrating a word that begins with each letter.

Short and Long Vowels and the Silent E

Even though your students have only learned four of the five vowels, this lesson is still a good place to practice short and long vowel sounds. Your students should already have had some practice with this; the i in the word 'I' and the word 'sit' is not pronounced the same way. If you happened to teach the letter combination 'ea' of 'eating' (though you needn't have, as this is the first lesson in which 'e' is taught) then your students might already know that 'ea' often makes the sound 'ee'. And of course, as you taught each vowel, you might have been teaching both the long and the short vowel at the same time, though only teaching the short vowel sound is also a common way to introduce letters.

So why start explaining short and long vowels now? Because this lesson introducing 'e', and with it you can teach about the 'silent e' on the end of some words. You can introduce the silent e by writing a word on the board that has a silent e, then having your students identify all the letters and letter sounds, then try to read it. If your students are native English speakers, you can probably explain the situation a bit. If your students are learning English as well as the English alphabet, a bit more is needed to bring the point across.

Point to each letter, making its sound. Make the short vowel sound when you get to the vowel. When you get to the silent e, don't make a sound, put your finger over your lips, perhaps say 'no sound'. By this point, your students probably know the word 'sound' and they should know the word 'no'.Underline the silent e, then draw an arrow from it to the vowel in the middle of the word. Pronounce the new sound, the long vowel. Cover up the e with your hand, point to the other vowel, and pronounce the short vowel. Uncover the 'e' and pronounce the long vowel.

Ask your students to read the word with the silent 'e'. Read it together. Let each student have a turn reading it. Then write more words on the board. This works best if you find words that mean something with or without the ending 'e'. It doesn't matter if your students understand what the words actually mean; this is a reading exercise not a vocabulary exercise. Write the words without the 'e', and read them. add the silent 'e' and read them again. You might want an extra section for words that don't follow the normal rules but that your students are likely to see often, like 'are' which maintains a short sound common in 'ar' words, or 'the' which ends in 'e' but that 'e' isn't silent. 'Have' is another exception, but as neither 'h' nor 'v' has been taught yet, you can wait to mention it.

Some words that you might use are in the chart below.

Note: You may notice that some vowels have more words than others. That's because some vowels are more likely to represent a long vowel sound using different letter combinations, like 'ea or ee' for long e, or 'oo' for long o. Your students may already have learned 'ea' for 'eat'. If, however, you haven't taught 'ea' yet, don't do it this lesson. There's no need to try and teach too many sound combinations at once. For the same reason, you might choose to avoid the -ar words, particularly as the vowel 'a' actually has three distinct possible sounds and thus far probably only two have come up; likewise the schwa sound that is quite common in the English language doesn't really need to be introduced at this time; a better point, in fact, would be a lesson on pronunciation and stress. For more information on word stress and sentence stress, follow the links.

The Silent E

Short Vowel Words
Silent E Words
at, bat, sat, mar, (far), mat, rat, man
ate, bate, sate, mare, (fare), mate, rate, mane
met, (pet)
mete, (Pete)
bit, sit, (kit, fin, win), tin, Tim, dim, rid
bite, site, (kite, fine, wine), tine, time, dime, ride
(not, rot, tot, hop, cop)
(note, rote, tote, hope, cope)
run, (cut)
rune, (cute)
Letters that haven't been taught yet are in parenthesis.

Vowel Song: Apples and Bananas

A fun way to practice long and short vowels is the vowel song. This is a common nursery rhyme song taught to young children. You can find examples of the song on YouTube with a simple search for 'Apples and Bananas Song'.


I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas (repeat x3)

After singing the words normally through one verse, for the next make all the vowels in the sentence (after 'I like to') long vowels for a single letter. Note: unaccented bits tend to be pronounced normally (and, the 'ba' of 'bananas' sometimes).

A: I like to ate, ate, ate, ape-les and bay-nay-nays (repeat X3)

E: I like to eat, eat, eat, eeples and be-nee-nees

I: I like to ite, ite, ite, ipe-les and bie-nie-nie-s

O: I like to oat, oat, ote, op-les and bononos

U: I like to ute, ute, ute, up-les and boonoonoos.

Let's Read!


Reading Bb Ee Dd

This reading lesson builds on already learned letters: S I T A R M G N U. It can also stand alone but your students will be able to read very few words on their own.

You can find the story worksheet here.

There are two ways to use the story worksheet:

  1. Have your students find and identify the target letters. You can also use this as review time and have your students identify previously learned letters.
  2. Have your students identify words that end in 'e'. They can put a line through the e to remind them that it is silent, and then mark the word's vowel as long. This can also be a way to pre-teach some of the words before your students try to read them.
  3. By this point, if you have taught these lessons in order, your students should be able to read quite a few of the words. Pre-teaching some of the words will help them to learn, particularly confusing words like 'are' or 'eating' which don't follow the normal pronunciation rules you've been teaching.

    Pre-teaching reading words has the added benefit of pre-teaching the vocabulary for the story, so your students can more easily understand the story. You can provide pictures for new words, or if you know your student's native language you might translate, though some schools frown upon over-use of native languages in an English classroom.
  4. Read the story together. You read some of the words, but when you reach a word that only contains the target letters, your students will read that word. You can have them read only the 'bed' words (pretty much, only the word bed) or you can have them also read the words with 'sitarmgnu'. You can read through the entire story once by yourself first, and then read it together, or you can jump right in to the group reading. You can even start by having your students only read 'bed', and then for the second reading, they read all words they should know and you only the words with unlearned letters OR SOUND COMBINATIONS (eat, for example, you may or may not have them read themselves).


Now that your students know Bb Ee Dd, what's next? Well, by this point, your students are roughly halfway through the alphabet. Perhaps for their next lesson, you could take a break and do a review? You could even go back to earlier reading assignments and read them again; this time your students should be able to read a lot more on their own! It will be encouraging to them to compare how far they've come and perhaps they will get even more out of the stories the second time around!

And once the review lesson is done? Keep going through the alphabet!

Go back to Gg Nn Uu

Go on to Cc Oo Hh

Like Mir Foote's writing? Why not try her books!

The Storykeepers
The Storykeepers

There are stories not told to the children, stories that must not be told to the children, of times when evil won. Four orphans must make sure their story isn't one of them.



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