Help to learn the letters d b p q

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  K-3 Member 5 months ago.

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  • #59793

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    Learning the letters ‘d’ ‘b’ ‘p’ ‘q’

     I’ve found that all my children have struggled to differentiate between the letters d b and p q – especially the d b. Being able to visualise the sound really helps us with these tricky letters. Telling a simple story with each letter has really helped.

    The story is told as the child looks at the relevant letter. Here are the stories for each letter:

    ‘d’ The little duck runs up to the pond and then dives right in, splash!

    ‘b’ See the ball bounce low on the wall, bounce, bounce, bounce.

    ‘p’ Let’s open the oven and take out the piping hot pie, lift it up high!

    ‘q’ The queen wears a crown and sits up straight on her throne.

    We printed out these as small flashcards with the picture letter on one side and the plain letter on the other side.

    The pictures help to link the sound to the letter in the child’s mind.


  • #59794

    K-3 Member

    I teach b with bat and ball bbb song sung to skip to my Lou.

    We form b as the stick (bat) then the ball
    I have not had many children confuse b and d because I have been sneaky and always taught d with a flick or tail – song dog digging the visual has a dog head down digging in the dirt tail wag at the end. Also when I teach handwriting I do a specific order
    c o a d g so children learn correct formation of the d.

    Some countries I believe teach the stick then backwards to do the circle how confusing.
    Like the pie idea. I use a pelican visual the pelican is facing right so that his pouch/beak is like the round part of the letter p.


  • #59795

    K-3 Member

    I have my kids start out by writing an upper case letter B, straight line down then when they go to the top pretend to write the top part and then put down the pencil and finish the job.

    For the letter d, I compare it to a cd (compact disc)make a “c” with a straight line down and turn it into a “cd”.

    My kids don’t have trouble with the p and q because I wait to officially teach q last after lots of practice with all the other consonants.


  • #59796

    K-3 Member

    Another one I’ve seen is making a picture from the word “bed” as a visual reminder.


  • #59797

    K-3 Member

    Good idea.
    I like to get them to hold both their fists up with thumbs sticking up. When the child looks at their fists it looks like “bed”. Straight away they know what ‘b’ and ‘d’ look like.

    This is effective even up to Year 6.
    Turn the fists upside down (thumbs pointing down now) and it makes ‘p’ and ‘q’.


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