Piggy Pancakes

Emergent Literacy

Emily Shumock


pig       pancake         pig           pancake        pig

A child’s knowledge of letter and phonemic awareness bear a strong and direct relationship to the success and ease of reading acquisition (Adams, p 44).  In order for children to be able to read, they must first be able to recognize letters and relate the sound of the spoken letter to print.  It is also important to not only teach children how to recognize letters, but to teach the letter’s sound along with letter recognition, so children can relate the spoken sound to the print (Adams, p 54).  In this lesson, children will be able to recognize and write the phoneme /p/ in both written and spoken language, by following the teacher’s modeling of stretching out words and saying the tongue twister.



Primer paper


Chart with “Piggy piled his plump pancakes on the purple plate”

Cards with the letter /p/ on one side and a question mark on the other side

Word list – plate, bowl, paint, color, purple, red, pass, toss, pick, grab

Sheet with pictures and words – plate, bowl, tape, cup, fork, pail, pig, pot, dog

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by: Laura Numeroff.



1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that our mouth moves a different way for every word we say.  Today we are going to work on finding the mouth move for /p/.  The children will watch each other as they practice saying /p/.


2.  Ask the students: Have you ever heard the sound popcorn makes when it is popping?  Yes, it makes the /p/ sound.  Let’s practice making the /p/ sound with our hands. Try this! (Demonstrate popping fingers open from a fist.) Now, lets find the /p/ sound in some words.

3.  Let’s try a tongue twister (put chart up for students to see).  “Piggy piled his plump pancakes on the purple plate.”  Let’s say it together three more times.  Ok, let’s try it one more time, but this time I want us to pop our fingers open every time you hear the /p/ sound. Very good!

4.  (Pass out primary paper and pencils.) “I would now like for us to write the letter p ten times on our paper. Start at the rooftop and make a straight line down to the sidewalk.  Pick up your pencil and make a circle from the rooftop down to the fence. Now you have capital p.  Now let’s make a lowercase p.  Start at the fence and make a straight line down to the ditch.  Pick up your pencil and make a circle from the fence down to the sidewalk.  Now you have a lowercase p.   Once you have made an uppercase p and a lowercase p, I will put a sticker on your paper and I want you to make five more uppercase and five more lowercase.” 

5.  (Pass our cards with the letter p and the question mark.)  I want you to help me find the letter p in the word cup.  I’m going to stretch cup out in slow motion and I want you to listen for the popcorn popping in the microwave.  C-c-c-c-u-u-u-p-p-p.  I do hear the popcorn popping /p/ in cup.  Now, let’s try some other words and I want you to hold up your card with the p if you hear a word with the /p/ sound.  If you do not hear /p/ in the word, hold up the question mark.  Read: plate, bowl, paint, color, purple, red, pass, toss, pick, and grab.

6.  Now, I am going to read a story to you and it is named If You Give a Pig a Pancake.  This is a funny story about a little pig that eats pancakes with syrup and he gets all sticky.  What do you think will happen to that little pig after he eats his pancakes?  We will have to read the story and find out what he does next.  Now, while I read the story I want you to listen for the /p/ sound and when you hear it pop your fingers every time like we did earlier.



After the lesson is over, I will pass out a picture sheet with several pictures and words.  The students will then color the pictures with the /p/ sound in the word.  Be sure to remind the students that the p may be the initial letter in the word or found within the word.  The students will also write the word below the picture.



Adams, Marilyn Jager.  Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning About Print.  1990.     

Lunceford, Valerie. Marvelous Muffins.



Numeroff, Laura. If you give a pig a pancake. 1998. Scholastic, New York.

Riddle, Pam. Pop, Pop Popcorn.


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