“Pop, Pop Popcorn”



Pam Riddle


Rationale- Since letter recognition is one of the best predictors of first year reading achievement and children cannot learn to read without being phonemically aware, it is very important that children master these skills as early as possible.  The goal of this lesson is for the students to be able to identify the phoneme /p/ , by mouth movement and sound.  The students will also be able to recognize the letter p at the lessons end.


Materials- Primary paper and pencil, chart with “Patty packed popcorn, pancakes and peanuts for the Parker’s picnic.”, class set of cards with p on one side and a question mark on the other side, word list of the words: pop, pink, tape, pig, lamp, stick and Pat, worksheet with pictures of objects beginning or not beginning with p ( pig, park, paint, pocket, shoe, picture, Popsicle, car, plate), and the text, Pat’s Jam  by Sheila Cushman



1.  Explain to the children that today we are going to talk about the mouth movements for the letter p and work on finding the mouth movement for it.  Have the children watch each other say words beginning with /p/.  Have the children describe the way their mouth looks to each other.

2.  Ask the students: “Have you ever heard the sound that popcorn makes when it is popping?” “Yes, it makes the /p/ sound.” “We are going to look for the /p/ sound in some words.”  “Before we do that though, let’s practice making the /p/ sound with a hand movement to go along with it.  (Hands popping open)

 3.  First say the tongue twister to the students, then say the tongue twister on the chart together. “Patty packed popcorn, pancakes, and peanuts for the Parker’s picnic.”  Now let’s say it a few more times.  The last time we say it let’s pop open our hands every time you hear the /p/ sound.

 4.  Now take out your paper and pencil and practice making the letter p.  Start on the first floor of the house.  Go down to the basement and back up without taking your pencil off the paper.  Now without lifting your pencil let’s add a loop to the right side of our line.  I want to see everyone’s p.  Once I put a sticker on your paper, I want you to make nine more just like it.

 5.  Pass our cards with p and a question mark on them.  Tell the children you are going to say some words.  If you hear /p/, hold up the side of your card with p on it.  If you do not hear /p/, hold up the side with a question mark.  Read the words: pop, pink, tape, pig, shoe, lamp, toe, stick, Pat

 6.  Read the story, Pat’s Jam and have the students pop open their hands when they hear a /p/ in the story.

 Assessment: The teacher will hand out a picture page and help the students name each picture.  Ask the students to circle the pictures containing /p/.



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


Cushman, Sheila.  Pat’s Jam. Educational Insights. 1990.

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