Lesson 2: Letter Recognition Confusable Letter Pairs
This lesson provides practice distinguishing between pairs of
similar-looking lowercase letters, such as b and d,
p and b, m and w, n and m.
Grade Level: K1
- Learn to distinguish between easily-confused letter pairs
by reading and listening to a story that highlights select
- Construct a story by actively choosing words
- Use picture clues to aid comprehension
- Match words that start with the same letter
- Chalkboard or similar display
- Clifford Interactive Storybook Clifford’s
- Clifford Storybook activity Letter
- Computer(s) with Internet access
- Optional: LCD or overhead projector to display storybook
- Optional: headphones
- Bookmark the Interactive Clifford Storybooks on the computers
students will use.
- NOTE: If students have limited access to computers, print
activity screens and make transparency copies to post on an
Step 1: Introduce the lesson by reviewing one of the most
visually confusing letter pairs: b/d. Write the word “bed”
on the chalkboard and point out that the word visually resembles
a bed. Show students that the word begins with the letter b
and ends with the letter d and that the letter b
comes before the letter d in the alphabet and in the word
Step 2: Brainstorm a list of words that begin with b and
a list of words that begin with d. Write them on the chalkboard,
underlining the letters b and d in each word. Point out the difference
in how the two letters look.
Step 3: Take students to the first page of Clifford’s
Big Dig. and read the first two sentences. Model how to click
the speaker icon next to the sentences to hear them read aloud.
Step 4: Point to the letter d in “digging”
in the first sentence and say the word aloud. Have students identify
what letter it begins with. Now point to the letter b in the word
“big” in the second sentence and say the word aloud.
Again, have students identify the letter. Have a volunteer explain
the difference between how a lower case b and d look.
Step 5: Click the speaker icon next to the third sentence.
After listening to the narrator read, tell students that they
are to choose one of the three words in the circles to put into
the story. Read the choices aloud. Ask students what letter each
of the choices begins with. Then have them select one of the three
choices to complete the second sentence.
Step 1: Working in pairs, have students read the story
Clifford’s Big Dig
from the beginning. Have them click the speaker icons to hear
the words read aloud.
Step 2: Instruct students to click a word to complete the
third sentence on each page. Tell them to look at the first letter
of the words they are choosing between. Point out that on some
pages the three words begin with the same letter, and on other
pages, the words begin with letters that look alike but are different.
Instruct pairs to identify the letters that each word begins with
and to correct each other if they identify the wrong letter. Can
they identify the differences between similar looking letters?
(Sample answer: b has a line going up; p has a line pointing down.)
Step 3: When pairs finish the story, help them link to
the game Letter
Match. Students can click the speaker icon to hear the instructions.
Then have them click on each word to hear it read aloud. What
sound does each one begin with? What letter does each word begin
with? Students should drag the words into the correct boxes. (If
necessary, model how to click and drag words into the boxes.)
Step 4: As they play the game, encourage students to identify
what letters the words begin with.
Assessment & Evaluation
Away from the computer, read a list of the words you’ve
worked with in the storybook and activity. Without visual clues,
can students distinguish the letters that each word begins with?
Can the write the letter correctly? Can they name other words
that begin with that letter and sound?
To further assess letter recognition knowledge:
- Write the letters reviewed (both uppercase and lowercase)
in random order on a sheet of paper.
- Make a copy of the sheet for you to record each student's
errors. Have the student read the letters as quickly as possible.
Mark errors on your copy of the letter sheet.
- Time the student's reading. Provide additional instruction
on those letters the student struggles with, particularly confusable
- Note if students read at a slow, labored pace. Provide additional
instruction and practice until the student is able to read the
- Make a set of lowercase letter cards for confusable letter
pairs, including b, p, d, q, j, i. Write one letter on
each card and make two cards for each letter. Place the cards facedown.
Have students turn over two cards at a time. If the cards match,
students keep them. If not, they turn them back down. The object
is to successfully make as many matches as they can.
- Distribute letter cards, one per student. Then write a letter
on the chalkboard. Ask the students whose cards match the letter
to step to the front of the classroom. Have a volunteer name
the letter and the sound it makes.
- Write pairs of words on the chalkboard that begin with easily
confusable letters, such as bat and pat;
bug and dug; pot and
dot. Read the words aloud. Ask students to identify
the letter that is different in each word.