Bumpy Bus


Associate the letter B (and lowercase b) with the /b/ sound (e.g., bear, boat, broom).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • bus
  • bump
  • bat
  • boy
  • bug
  • bed


  • A Bumpy Bus (chairs in rows, bus-shaped cardboard, etc.)
  • A Frisbee or plastic plate for pretend steering wheel
  • Masking tape for road on floor
  • Bus stop signs (see below)
  • B items and/or pictures (see graphics below)
  • Non-B items or pictures (see below)
  • Brown box, bag, or basket
  • Word blending cards (see below)
  • Bumpy Bus Chant (see below)
  • Sticky notes

State and model the objective

Tell the children that they will ride on a pretend bumpy bus and will practice saying the /b/ sound in words that start with the letter B, such as bus, bumpy, bear, bug, boy, and broom.

Practice the skill within an activity 

Board the bus and bump along a bus route:

  • Set up a bus by placing chairs in rows, cutting out cardboard in the shape of a bus, or having the children hold a rope attached to the bus driver’s chair (include a steering wheel for the bus driver).
  • Make a bus route using masking tape on the floor for the road.
  • Explain that only things that begin with the letter B can board the bumpy bus, and that the letter B makes the /b/ sound as in bus.
  • Ask the children to choose what B thing they want to be before they board the bus (e.g., ballerina, boy, bug, bear, bus driver).
  • Let the children tell you what B thing they are as they board the bumpy bus (support as needed by suggesting a possible B thing they could be).
  • Sit at the front as the bus driver and call out, “Begin!”
  • Let the bus riders begin traveling the route described above, moving up and down and pretending that the road is bumpy.
  • Call out actions that begin with /b/ and have the bus riders do the actions while they bump along the bus route (i.e., buzz, bounce, bend, beep).

Put things that start with B in a brown bag

  • Set up various Bus Stop Signs (see below) along the route.
  • Place several items or pictures (see below) of items that start with /b/ along with one item or picture (see below) that does not start with /b/ at each bus stop along the route.
  • Have the rider at the back of the bus hold a big brown bag, box or basket.
  • Let the riders begin traveling the bus route and look for things that start with /b/ (the children can make the /b/ sound softly while riding along the route; as the bus moves closer to a bus stop have the children make the /b/ sound louder).
  • Check each item or picture at the bus stop:
    • If the item begins with /b/, have the children say, "______ says /b/ and goes in the big brown bag," and have them circle the B on the picture label and put it in the big brown bag.
    • If the item does not begin with /b/ then have the children say, "No! _______ does not start with /b/" and leave the item at the bus stop.

Apply the skill

Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • With word blending cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
    • bit bat; bag bug; bad bed; big bog
    • bus bug; bat ban; bin bit; bag  bad
    • bug tug; bun sun; bat rat; big dig

Read target words in a text 

  • Read the Bumpy Bus Chant (see target text below) together as a class/group, acting out the parts of the chant.
  • Read the text again fading support.
  • Have the children underline the words that start with B.

Write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Write a list as a class of words from the bus activities that start with the letter B, letting children take turns writing the letter B and any other letters/words they know.
  • Let the child write the letter B (or B words) on sticky notes then place the letters (or labels) on objects or pictures from the activity that start with B.
  • Give each child a whiteboard and have them write words from dictation, changing one or two letters each time to make a new word: bus, bun, bin, big, bug, bag, bat, bet, bed.

SEEL Target Texts

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Bumpy Bus Chant

The bear on the bus goes
Bump, bump, bump.
Bump, bump, bump.
Bump, bump, bump.
The bear on the bus goes
Bump, bump, bump
All around B town.
The bug on the bus goes
Buzz, buzz, buzz.
Buzz, buzz, buzz.
Buzz, buzz, buzz.
The bug on the bus goes
Buzz, buzz, buzz
All around B town.
The boy on the bus goes
Bounce, bounce, bounce.
Bounce, bounce, bounce.
Bounce, bounce, bounce.
The boy on the bus goes
Bounce, bounce, bounce
All around B town.
The bat on the bus goes
Boing, boing, boing.
Boing, boing, boing.
Boing, boing, boing.
The bat on the bus goes
Boing, boing, boing
All around B town.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.