Pretty Pig Penelope’s Picnic


Emergent Literacy


By: Timberly Farley


Rationale: In this lesson, students will learn to recognize /p/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (Making hand gesture like you are popping popcorn). By teaching p=/p/ phoneme, students will learn that the /p/ sound will go with the letter p. Students will practice finding /p/ in spoken words by reciting tongue ticklers and coloring pictures that contain /p/ on a worksheet. They will also apply phoneme awareness with /p/ in phonetic cue reading by identifying which words have /p/ in them when given the choice between two words. Students will learn how to write capital P and lowercase p on primary paper. At the end of this lesson the students should be able to recognize the phoneme p=/p/ in spoken word and written text.




Primary paper
Pencil, Poster with the tongue twister on it – "Pretty pig Penelope picked the perfect place for a pleasant picnic"

Book – Penelope’s Picnic

Phonetic cue reading cards with words Phonetic cue reading cards with the words- (Pie, Tie, Face, Pace, Pickle, Tickle, Fork, Pork, Paint and Faint.)  Crayons

Assessment worksheet identifying /p/




1) Say: Our written language can be very difficult sometimes. The hard part is learning what letters stand for – the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we are going to learn more about the letter P. We are going to learn how to spot the mouth move /p/. We spell /p/ with letter P.


2) Say: "Do you like popcorn?" [Students respond "yes"]

"Great!" "Now who can tell me what sound popcorn make when you pop it in the microwave?" [Students respond "pop" "p-p-p"]

"Right p-p that is the same sound that the letter p makes! Let pretend our hands are popping popcorn. Every time we hear the /p/ sound we have to pop open our hands. [Demonstrate how to do this by saying words popcorn and penguin. Each time "popping" your hand open when saying /p/]

"Now I want you to practice it with me! Let’s get our hand ready. Be sure to pop your hand when you hear me say /p/. [practice with the two words picnic and pig]

"You did so well! 


3) Introducing the tongue twister.

Put the poster of the tongue twister on the board.

Say: "Ok now we are going to say this sentence: Pretty pig Penelope picked the perfect place for a pleasant picnic."

[Have students repeat it]

"Ok now let's get our popping hands ready. Let's exaggerate the /p/ sounds we hear and pop our hands when we hear them." [Read the sentence again exaggerating the beginning of each word. Then have students repeat this doing the hand gesture for /p/]

"Wonderful job!"


4) "Now that we know how to listen for the /p/ in words, let’s learn to write the letter p. [have students get out primary paper and a pencil. While they are doing this you put big teaching sheet of primary paper on the board.]

"Let’s write the low case letter p. We are going to , start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk [Demonstrate this as you are talking through steps to on the big primary paper on board]  "Ok now I want you to practice writing this on your paper ten times." [walk around room to make sure students get it and are doing it correctly]

"Great job everyone! Now let’s learn how to write capital P. For capital P we are going to go down, pick up, and around to the fence. [Demonstrate this as you are talking through steps to on the big primary paper on board] 

"Ok now I want you to practice writing this on your paper ten times." [walk around room to make sure students get it and are doing it correctly]

"Everyone did so well! Now we all know how to write our lowercase and uppercase p."


5) "Now, I am going to read the book Penelope’s Picnic. This story is about Penelope the pig and her friend Polly. They go down to visit the penguin's picnic, but when they get there the penguins have gone to play games. So Penelope and Polly decide to eat some of the penguin's picnic food. It is so good they are starting to eat everything! Will the penguins get back in time to eat some of the food too? We are going to have to read the book to find out!"

"Ok class while I am reading this book I want all of you to listen for the magic /p/. Every time you hear the 'p' sound we have been talking about today, I want you to make the popcorn motion with your hands. Everyone remember how to do that?" [Students respond by doing hand motion] "Great! You are all so smart!" [Then read the book and the students will listen making the hand motion at every /p/]


6) [Get the word cards] "Now I am going to tell you two words and I want you to tell me which word you hear /p/ in. Let me show you an example. My words are dig and pig. Do I hear /p/ sound in dig or pig? Hmm, let me sound out the words. Ddddiigg or pppiigg. I hear the /p/ sound in pig! Does everyone understand? Are you ready to try some?" [Students respond "yes"]

"Ok good! Here we go!" [Try this words: PIE: Pie or Tie, PACE: Face or Pace, PICKLE: Pickle or Tickle, PORK: Fork or Pork, PAINT: Paint or Faint] "Great Job!"


7) For assessment, distribute the worksheet. [Have students get out crayons] Students will then color the pictures that begin with P. While the class is working on this, call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #6.





Dorsey, Cydney. Pretty Penguins Pop Perfect Popcorn.


Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie: Hand Gestures for Phonemes


Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie: Teaching Letter Recognition.

  -used to tell how to write letter p using ditch, fence and sidewalk examples.


Book: Penelope’s Picnic


Assessment worksheet:



Return to the Doorways index