Poppin' Popcorn Party

 Erika Gam

Emergent Literacy Design 


This lesson will help children identify /p/, the phoneme represented by p.  Students will learn to recognize /p/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (hands making popping movements) 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.


 Primary paper


Chart with "Princess Patsy painted purple paper"

 Drawing paper


 My P Book

 Word cards with PIG, PORK, MAN, TOP, SINK, DRIP

 Assessment sheet (see resources)



1.     Our written language is a secret code.  The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves as we say words.  Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move when we say /p/.  We spell /p/ with the letter p. P kind of looks like popcorn popping, and it sounds like it too.

2.    Let's pretend that we're in a popcorn maker, and all of a sudden, all of the popcorn starts to pop. (Make your hand into a circle with all fingers touching the thumb.  When you make the popping noise, spread all fingers out quickly.)  I want you to notice that when you make a popping sound, your lips start together and then open, and a puff of air comes out.

3.    Listen as I show you how to find /p/ in the word tap.  I'm going to stretch tap out, like it's in slow motion, and I want you to listen for the popcorn.  Here we go: tt-aa-p/.  Good; we'll do it again, this time a little slower: /ttt-aaaaa-p/. Did everybody find it? Great! I felt my lips open up as I pushed air out.  I can feel the popcorn in tap.

4.    Let's try a tongue twister (on chart). Princess Patsy painted purple paper.  Let's all say it three times together (do so). Great! Now I want you to give a real loud pop every time you hear the popcorn /p/: Princess Patsy Painted PurPle PaPer.  Now this time we are going to break off the pops from the rest of the word: /p/rincess /p/atsy /p/ainted /p/ur/p/le /p/a/p/er.

5.    (Have students take out primary paper and pencil.) We use the letter p to spell /p/.  Capital P looks like popcorn popping up (Draw a piece of popcorn with motion streaks underneath it; one that creates a p with the roundness of the popcorn).  Now we're going to write the lowercase letter p.  (Model)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 give you a smiley face, keep writing nine more.

6.    (Have students respond to the following questions): Do you hear /p/ in pie or cake?  Kettle or pot?  Pick or choose? Draw or paint?  Good.  Now let's see if you can catch the /p/ when you hear it in some words.  I want you to pop your popcorn (model) if you hear it: The--peaches--grew--perfectly--before--the--farmer--started--picking.

7.    This is a special kind of ABC book; it is filled with the letter p and the popcorn /p/ sound.  I want to hear the popcorn popping as I read.  (When you finish, pass out drawing paper and crayons.  Have students create their own P page with illustrations.  Encourage them to use various categories, such as animals, foods, etc.)

8.    (Show PIG and model how to decide if it is pig or fig).  I want to find out if this word is pig or fig. Hmm-- the p tells me to pop my popcorn, /p/ (model), so this word is ppp-ig, pig.  (The rest of this step will be completed in step 9)You try some: PORK: pork or fork? MAN: man or pan? TOP: top or mop? SINK: sink or pink? DRIP: drip or drill?

9.    (As an assessment, pass out the worksheet.  Students will complete the spellings and color the pictures that begin with p.  Go to students' desks and have them read phonetic cue words from step #8)


Assessment worksheet:  <http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/p-begins2.html> 

Hummers, Melanie. Mouth Moves and Gestures for Phonemes. <http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/mouthmovies.html>

Moncure, Jane Belk. My P Book. Chicago, Child's World, 1984, 29pp.

Thorton, Belinda. "Pigs Love Pink Pancakes". <http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/thorntonel.html>

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