P is for Popcorn!

                                                 Emergent Literacy

                                         Meagan Harrington

Rationale: Letter recognition is one of the biggest prediction factors for beginning readers; for that reason, letter recognition is a very important skill needed to learn.  Before matching letters to phonemes a child must recognize phonemes in spoken words. Therefore, it is also important students develop phoneme awareness. This lesson is designed to help beginning readers to learn the letter p. The target of this lesson is for the children to be able to write upper and lower- case p. Also, for the children to know p=/p/. (Adams).

- Index cards with p words on them (pig, pizza, pirate, popcorn, pie,etc...)
- Dry erase board with markers
- Picture cards with p and non p words on them (a pircture of a chair, desk, umbrella, ect.. to see if children can hear the difference b/t p and non p words)
- Primary Paper
- Pencils
- Book: Pam and Pat Pop Popcorn

Procedure: Goal: We will learn how to recognize /p/ in words and be able to write P and p.

  1. It is important when teaching new material children still remember things they have previously learned. This is why I will review previously learned letters like n and m and o. Then I will begin to introduce the letter p by showing the students picture cards that start with the letter p. I will show them pictures of popcorn, a plate, pickles, and the color purple.
  2. Next, I will say, Do any of you know what letter all these picture have in common? Good! That is right, they all start with the letter p. Can anyone tell me what sound p makes? You're right, p=/p/.
  3. How does our mouth look when we say /p/? Give time for the students to respond. Our lips start together, kind of like when you zip your lips. Then we open them and a puff of air comes out. Let's all try it.
  4. Ok, now we know what are lips are like when we say /p/. Let's try a tongue twister so we can get some more practice. Everyone repeat after me. "Peggy the parrot picks purple pickles in the park." Good, now when we hear /p/ I want everyone to stretch it out. For example, "PPPeggy the ppparrot pppicks pppurple pppickles in the pppark." Let's all try it together now.
  5. Good job! Now whenever we hear /p/ lets pop our fingers open. Just like this. Model to the students what it looks like to pop fingers open. Let's say the tongue twister again. Whenever we hear /p/ I want everyone to pop their fingers open! Ready? Ok, here we go!
  6. After practicing with p=/p/ for awhile I will use the dry erase board to write an upper case p and a lower case p. As I draw the letters on the board I will say what I am doing. Boys and girls, now we are going to practice writing the letter p. First lets all try upper case p. I will now pass out primary paper for everyone. Can everyone get out a pencil for me? Great, is everybody ready to try? First, go down, pick up, and around to the fence. Did everyone try? Ok, now by yourselves I want you all to practice writing upper case p 10 times. Go around the tables checking on each child and scaffold where needed. Now we are going to try lower case p.  Everyone watch me, start at the fence. Go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. Let's all try it together now. Start at the fence. Ok, good! Now practice writing the lower case p 10 times by yourself. I will come around and help.
  7. You guys have done great learning about the letter p today. Can anyone remind me what sound p makes? Great! It makes the /p/ sound! (I will pop my fingers when I say that) Now that we have had such great practice with p today I am going to show you two words. I want you to pop your fingers when you hear the word with /p/. Is everybody ready?
    1. Pirate or Boat?  Great. I heard /p/ in the word, ppppirate.
    2. Cake or pie? Yep! PPPie
    3. Park or beach? Good Job! PPPark.
    4. Cheese or pizza? Correct, pp pizza has the /p/ sound.
  8. Everyone has done a great job so far! Have all the students gather back on the carpet for a book. Now I want everyone to make sure they have their best listening ears on! I am going to read the story, Pam and Pat Pop Popcorn. As I read the story I want everyone to POP their fingers when they hear /p/. Can everyone do that!? Alright! I will stop in-between pages and ask students to come up and write the p words on the dry erase board. Pam and Pat Pop Popcorn is all about two pigs, named Pam and Pat, who having a popping pot and cannot control all the popcorn it pops! Do you think their kitchen will be covered in popcorn, or do you think they will fix it? I don't know! Let's read and see what happens to Pam and Pat.
  9. When the story and discussion is finished, have the students go back to their tables. Alright, now I want each table to be a group and work together for the next activity. We are going to use all the p words from the story you all wrote on the dry erase board. Move the dry erase board closer to the tables so each group can see the words. I want each group to create a story only using these words. The story can be whatever you want. You can write the story or draw the story! Get started, and be creative! After the groups finish their story, have each group share what they have created. (Also works well to look at children's invented spelling.)
  10. For my assessment I will hand out a worksheet with picture of objects on it. Have the students color in the object with the /p/ sound. Leave the objects without the /p/ sound blank. Boys and girls, I need everyone to get out their crayons. Look at the pictures and color in the objects that have the /p/ sound. Let's do the first one together. Who can tell me what the first two pictures are of? Yep, it is a pencil and scissors. Which object has the /p/ sound? PPPencil. So, color in the pencil. Under the picture, try the best you can to write the would 'pencil'. Try the rest on your own. Let me know if you can't tell what the picture is.


Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. Illinois (1990)

Marsden, Brigette.Precious Pigs

Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie

Return to the Encounters Index