Putt-Putt Old Car
Emergent Literacy
Laura Lansdon

Rationale: To become effective readers and spellers, students must master the alphabetic principle, which states that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out phonemes.  Students must learn to recognize phonemes in order to match them to letters.  One phoneme students have trouble with is /p/ because of its relation to /b/.  Students often confuse the letters p and b as well as the sounds.  This lesson will help students isolate /p/ in spoken words as well as recognize the letter p in written words.

Materials: 1) a fake feather for each student and teacher, 2) primary paper and pencil, 3) sentence strip with "Pam the panda wears a pink parka with purple pants", 4) Dr. Seuss' Hop on Pop, drawing paper and crayons, a die cut of the letter p for every student.

Procedures: 1. Begin the lesson by telling students that letters really stand for sounds that we say.  When we say certain sounds our mouth may move in a particular way that can help us identify that sound.  Today we are going to learn about how our mouth moves when we say /p/.  This sound can come at the beginning, end, or middle of a word, and we are going to work on recognizing in when we hear it.

2. Tell students that the /p/ sound is like the sound an old car makes when it is put-putting down the rode.  When we say this sound, our lips come together and we let out a little breath of air.  We're going to watch for our lips coming together when we're trying to find this sound in words.  Everyone make the noise of our old car put-putting down the road. I'll do it first p-p-p-put, p-p-p-putting down the road. Watch to see if I make that sound in another word: p-p-p-ast.  Did my lips come together and did I let out a breath? Yes I did, right at the beginning, very good!

3. Now we're going to try a tongue twister using the sound. Students will hold feather in front of their mouth so that it will move when they say /p/.  Teacher models first. "Pam the panda wears a pink parka with purple pants." Let's all say it together once.  Now let's say it again and draw out the /p/ like we did before. "P-p-pam the p-p-panda wears a p-p-pink p-p-parka with p-p-purp-p-ple p-p-pants." Good job! (Praise students if they caught the second /p/ in purple and model and correct if not.)  Now we're just going to break off the /p/ sound at the beginning. "/p/ am the /p/ anda wears a /p/ ink /p/ arka with /p/ ur /p/ le /p/ ants." Very nice!

4. Tell students to take out their primary writing paper and pencils.  Then write the letter p on the board and tell the students that we use that letter to spell /p/. Draw imaginary paper on the board and model how to write it while explaining.  First we make a circle, starting at the second floor and going to the first floor.  Next we draw a line on the left side of our circle all the way from the second floor down the basement.  I want everyone to practice writing a p and let me come around to check it.  After I have seen your letter, practice writing it ten more times on that row.  Remember that when we see the letter p in a word, we know that we're going to say /p/.

5. Give individual students a chance to say whether they hear /p/ in the following words and how they know: Do you hear /p/ in pan or ran?  Sap or sam?  Glass or cup?  Viper or snake?  Now tell students that you are going to ask them questions and the answers are words that have /p/ in them.  What do we call a fruit that is ready to be eaten? Ripe.  What do we call a farm animal that goes oink and wallows in the mud? Pig.  What do we look at to give us directions? Map.  In those words, did your lips come together and let out a breath of air? Yes, so all those words have the /p/ sound in them. If they are not recognizing the sounds immediately, use the feathers again.

6. Read Hop on Pop. Tell students to hold up their letter p when they hear the /p/ sound.  Then tell students to draw a picture of something that has that sound in it and write a sentence about it.

7. For assessment, have a worksheet with pictures of words that have and do not have /p/ in them.  Have students circle the pictures that represent a word with the /p/ sound.


Questions? Email me at lansdle@auburn.edu

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