Lindsay Long
Emergent Literacy
Pretty Please

Rationale:  In order to learn to read and write, children must acquire a sense of phonemic awareness.  This lesson and activity
will help students hear and recognize the phoneme /p/ in a spoken word, by learning a memorable name for the sound,
practicing it in rhymes, identifying objects that start with /p/ and seeing the letter p in written text.

Materials:  Chart with "Pass the popcorn, pretty please!"; primary paper and pencil for each student; bag of popcorn; book
How to be a Practically Perfect Pig; pictures of different objects, some containing the /p/ sound and some not

1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that words are made up of different sounds or phonemes.  Say: "Today we are going to
learn about the letter p.  Do you know what sound the letter p makes?  That's right it makes the /p/ sound.  Now I want you to
remember that every time you see the letter p it makes the /p/ sound."

2.  "Have you ever heard the sound of popcorn popping?  The sound you hear when it is popping is the same sound that p
makes.  (Popping popcorn is optional.)  Now listen and see if you can hear the /p/ sound."  "P-p-p-p-pretty, p-p-p-p-please.
Did you hear the /p/ sound.  Great!  Now that are an expert on the /p/ sound lets try some activities."

3.  "I have a riddle I would like for you to all say and see if you can hear the /p/ sound.  (Show chart)  'Pass the popcorn, pretty
please.'  Did you hear the /p/ sound?  (Wait for responses)  Very good.  Now turn to you neighbor and say the riddle

4.  (Have students take out pencils and primary paper.)  "Now we are going to practice writing the letter that makes the /p/
sound.  Pick up your pencils and start at the top of the roof.  Now draw a straight line down to the basement and then draw
straight back up to the roof.  Then make a loop around until you reach the middle window.  (Model for students on the board.)
Very good you all know how to write the letter p now.  Continue to draw more p's until you fill up one line."

5.  "Have you ever asked someone to borrow something or do you a favor before?  What do you say when you are asking
someone for something?  (Wait until students respond with the word please.)  Yes, you say please.  I want to see if you can tell
which words start with the /p/ sound.  When you hear the /p/ sound say 'pretty please', if you do not hear the /p/ sound say 'no
thanks'.  (Say the words pencil, ruler, paper, pen, book, eraser, and paint.)  Good job boys and girls, you knew that pencil,
paper, pen and paint all started with the /p/ sound."

6.  "Now we are going to read the book How to be a Practically Perfect Pig.  When you hear the /p/ sound I want you to say
/p/ with your mouth.  Make sure you listen very carefully."

7.  For assessment, students will have a series of pictures, some that start with the letter p, some that have the letter p in the
word, and some that do not contain the letter p.  See if the students can work with a partner and decide which words contain
the /p/ sound.

The Reading Genie Website.

Ward, Nick.  How to be a Practically Perfect Pig.  New York; Scholastic, 1999.

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