Emergent Literacy Design

Pop your Popcorn with P

Kelly Crumrine


Rationale: This lesson will help students identify /p/, the phoneme represented by P. Students will learn to recognize /p/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (popping fist to represent popcorn) and the letter symbol P, practice finding /p/ in words and apply phoneme awareness with /p/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Lined primary paper, pencil, chart with "Polly put the penny in her purse",  drawing paper and crayons, "Hop on Pop" book,  word cards with FACE, PORK, PEST, SICK and POND, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /p/ (URL below).


Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is like a code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say different words. Today we're going to work on determining the mouth move /p/. We spell /p/ with the letter P. P looks like a piece of popcorn shooting up, and /p/ sounds like a piece of popcorn popping.


2. Let's pretend to be popping some popcorn to watch a movie. [Start making popping noise and popping open fist] Notice how our lips move when we make the popping noise? They start together and open up to let a puff of air come out [move hand in front of mouth to feel the puff of air].


3. I'm going to show you how to find /p/ in the word skip. I'm going to stretch skip out in super slow motion and listen for the popcorn popping.  Ss-k-i-i-i-p. Slower: Sss-k-i-i-i-i-p There it was! I felt my lips come together then pull apart to let that puff of air out. I can feel the popping /p/ in skip.


4. Let's try a tongue tickler [on the chart]. Polly went to the store one day to buy some bread. She gave the cashier her money and he gave her a penny back. Polly put the penny in her purse. There's our tongue tickler, "Polly put the penny in her purse". Everyone lets say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time stretch out the /p/ at the beginning of the words "Pppolly ppput the pppenny in her pppurse." Try it again and this time break the /p/ off the word: "/p/ olly /p/ ut the /p/ enny in her /p/ urse."


5. [Give the students the primary lined paper and pencil]. We use the letter P to spell /p/. Captial P looks like a piece of popcorn flying out. Now let's try the lower case p. Start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. I want to see everybody's p. After I put a check on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.


6. Call on students to answer: Do you hear /p/ in parrot or gerbil? Nose or lip? Apple or banana? Lift or drop? Veggies or dip? Have them tell you how they knew. Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /p/ in some words. Pop your popcorn hand if you hear /p/: The pretty, purple dinosaur played pretend with his best pals.


7. Say: Now I am going to read Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  This book is about two kids who love to jump on their dad.  Have you ever done that?  To see what else they jump on, we need to read the book!  As I read, listen for /p/. When you hear it, I want you to raise your hands in the air and pop you fist. So we can make a list of the words that have that /p/ sound.

8. Show PET and model how to decide if it is pet or vet: the P tells me to pop my popcorn, /p/, so this word is ppp-et, pet. You try some: PEST: pest or nest? FACE: pace or face? PORK: fork or pork? SICK: pick or sick? POND: pond or bond?


9. For assessment, call on students to read the phonetic cue words from step #8. Hand out the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with P.



Dr. Seuss. Hop on Pop. Random House. 1963.

Assessment worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/p-begins2.htm

Kirsch, Kaylyn. "Pop Your P's Like Popcorn".



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