Popcorn Goes Pop!

Emergent Literacy

By: Alle Hausfeld



1. Rationale: This lesson was designed to help children identify /p/, the phoneme represented by P. The students will learn to recognize /p/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (place fingers together and snap open for /p/) and the letter symbol P, practice finding the sound /p/ in words, and to learn to apply phoneme awareness with /p/ while using phonetic cues during reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


2. Materials:

 primary paper, picture of popcorn, dry erase board, dry erase marker, pencils, a copy of the book The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, notecards (have words PAIN, PUMP, PIG, and PAN written on them), and assessment worksheets.


3. Procedures:

1. Introduce the lesson by saying, “For each sound, we move our mouths a different way. Today, we are going to practice the /p/ sound. We spell the /p/ sound with the letter P, which looks like this (I will show the upper and lower case P to the students). During this lesson, we will learn about a lot of words that begin with this letter.

2. Ask the students, “Who have ever heard the sound popcorn makes when it pops? What kind of sound does it make? Yes, it makes the /p/ sound (show the students a picture of popcorn). You say the /p/ sound by putting your lips together and popping then open, like popcorn.” While saying /p/ hold fingers together and snap them apart to mimic the sound. Now say, “Try this will me! Hold your fingers together and when you pull then apart, say /p/”.

3. “Now I’m going to tell you a tongue twister. Listen to me try to say it first. Once I say it, we will all say it together as a class and do the popcorn popping motion.” Say, “Peter’s pal Paula paints pictures.” Now say it with me using your popping fingers. “Peter’s pal Paula paints pictures. Do you hear the /p/ sound that you are making? Let me see if you can do popping fingers by yourselves. Ready? Peter’s pal Paula paints pictures. Great job!”

4. I will have students test words for /p/.  Ask students to say which word has the /p/ sound in it.  "I am going to read you two words and I want you to tell me which has the /p/ sound."  Say, "pluck or truck.  I hear the /p/ in pluck.  Now it's your turn."  Teacher says, "Do you hear /p/ in pot or lot?  Good, the /p/ is in pot.  What about man or pan?  Good job.  You hear /p/ in pan.  Do you hear /p/ in drip or drew?  Great!  You hear /p/ in drip.”

5. Next we are going to practice writing the /p/ sound which uses the letter P when it is used in a word.  The students should each have a sheet of primary paper.  Say to the students, "We are going to write the /p/ sound by using the letter P.  We write the letter P like this."  Demonstrate writing the letter P on the white board.  As you draw the P, say, "We start at the fence, go straight down to the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk.  Now you are going to practice writing the letter P.  I will come around the room and check your work.  Once I have checked your work, write the letter P nine more times."

6. Read the book The Paper Bag Princess - by Robert Munsch.  I will tell the students, "We are going to read a story about The Paper Bag Princess.  This book is about a beautiful princess named Elizabeth.  She has beautiful clothes and is about to marry a prince.  Just before they marry, a dragon smashes her house and burns all of her belongings!  We will have to read the story to figure out what happens to Princess Elizabeth!  Ready to read?  While I read this story, practice finding the /p/ sound in the words.  Each time you hear it, make the popcorn popping fingers."  While we are reading the story, I will informally assess the students to see if they are understanding the concept of the /p/ sound by seeing if they are using their popcorn fingers.

7. After we finish reading the story, I will have the students practice applying phoneme awareness in phonetic cue reading by decoding the first letters of rhyming words.  Ask the students, "Is this pain or rain Lump or pump Pig or big Pan or man?"

8. Assessment:  I will give the students each a copy of the letter P worksheet.  Next, I will instruct the students to only color the pictures that begin with the /p/ sound.  Once the students have completed the worksheet, assess their answers to see if they grasp the concept.


4. References:

Hand Gestures for Phonemes:



Pop, Pop, Pop Goes the Popcorn! By Susan Grimes.



Letter P Coloring Worksheet:



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