Popping P's!

Bailey Taylor

Emergent Literacy Design


Rationale: Phonemes are an essential component for success in children's reading and spelling.  This lesson will help children identify /p/, the phone represented by P.  Students will learn to recognize /p/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (popping bubbles), practice finding /p/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /p/ in phonetic cue reading.

Materials: Primary paper and pencils, Chart with "Patrick punches puffy pillows.", Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss, Word cards with POT, LOT, PIG, FIG, FEEL, PEEL, DINE, PINE, PAN, FAN, PAIL, MAIL, Assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /p/ (URL in references)


1. Introduce the lesson by explaining all letters of the alphabet make different sounds.  Also explain that when we say these different letters, our mouths move differently.

Say:  Our written language is a secret code.  Today, we are going to be investigators as we discover /p/.  We will be spotting the way our mouth moves as we say /p/.  We spell /p/ with the letter P.   P can even look like a bubble popping and /p/ sounds just like that. 

2. Let's pretend we are bubble popping by moving our fingers, /p/, /p/, /p/.  [Pop your fingers open like a popping bubble.]  Notice how your mouth moves when you say /p/.  Your lips start together [point to your lips], and then they open and a puff of air comes out.

3. Now let me show you how to find /p/ in the word lips.  I'm going to stretch lips out in super slow motion and listen for the popping bubble.  Lll-i-i-ips.  Let me try it slower, Lll-i-i-i-p-s.  There it was!  I felt my lips come together and then open and a puff of air came out.  I can hear the popping bubble /p/ in lips.

4. Let's try a tongue twister with /p/ [on chart]. "Patrick punches puffy pillows."  Everybody say it three times together [say it together].  Try it again, and pop the /p/ whenever you hear it at the beginning of the word.  When we say the /p/ sounds, pop your fingers out like a bubble that is popping.  [Read the poem while incorporating the hand gesture].  Now say it again, and this time, break /p/ off of the word: "/p/ atrick /p/ unches /p/ uffy /p/ illows."

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencils.] We use the letter P to spell /p/.  Let's write the lowercase p.  To make the letter p, start at the fence and draw a straight line all the way down to the ditch.  Pick up your pencil and take it back up to the fence.  Now, draw a half circle that goes down the sidewalk and touch the stick.  Now, I want all of you to practice writing ten more letter p's while I walk around and admire your wonderful letters.

6. So let's play a game to see how well we can hear /p/ in different words.  When I call on you, please answer and tell me how you knew the answer.  [Have students raise their hands and answer the questions.]  Do you hear /p/ in pail or bucket?  house or place?  poke or hit?  push or drag?  cow or pig?  [After going through all the sets of words]  Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /p/ in some words.  Pop the bubbles if you hear /p/:  A, pretty, pony, pranced, to, the, blue, pansies, in, Florida. 

7.  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/.

8. [Show POT and model how to decide if it is pot or lot.]  The P tells me to pop a bubble, /p/, so this word is p-ot, pot.  You try some:  PIG: pig or fig?  PEEL:  feel or peel?  PINE: dine or pine?  FAN: pan or fan?  PAIL: pail or mail?

9.  For assessment, distribute the worksheet with pictures on it, some start with P and other do not.  Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with P.  Call students individually over to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



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

Fulliloe, Casey.  "Pop Your P's . . .  Pop!  Pop!  Pop!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/fulliloveel.html

Murray, Bruce. "Brush Your Teeth With F: Emergent Literacy."  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/sightings/murrayel.html

Tongue Twister Alphabet. http://www.mrsmcgowan.com/projects/allitalphabet/index.html#

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




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