Emergent Literacy Design

Jennifer Kate Hall

Rationale:This lesson will help students be able to: identify the /p/ phoneme equals the letter p, recognize the letter, remember the sound from a significant exercise, and find /s/ in written words.Phonemic awareness is a prerequisite for phonics knowledge, spelling development, and word recognition, and is a predictor of later reading and spelling achievement (Eldredge, 27).For a child to better understand how to spell and read words, they need to understand that letters represent certain phonemes.

Materials: Primary paper and pencils for each child, chart with “My papa, the policeman, has purple puppies on his pink pajamas.”Class set of cards with letter p on one side and X on the other, drawing paper and crayons, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, picture worksheet with paint, pencil, paper, person, pajamas, pig, pillow, cat, book, house, bed, hand. [Dry erase marker and board for teacher].


  1. Say: “Today we are going to learn about the P=/p/ sound. The p=/p/ sound is found in many different words, and by the end of this lesson you will be able to see and hear the /p/ sound in those words.”
  2. Ask students, “Raise your hand if you have ever heard this sound? /p/.  Can anyone tell me what makes a /p/ sound? [picnic] Great! What about another one? [pirate] Awesome! Well, we are going to look for the /p/ sound in words. Have you ever listened to a bag of popcorn in the microwave? What sound does it sound like? [pppppppp] That’s right! Popcorn makes a popping sound like ppppppp. That is the sound the letter P makes. Everyone try to make that sound with your mouth—p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-. Wonderful! We could show that sound with our hands by making a fist and opening it up really fast over and over again. Like this (demonstrate). Now you try.”
  3. Let’s try this tongue twister [on chart]. “My papa, the policeman, has purple puppies on his pink pajamas. ” Say: “Now you say it with me three times.” Now let’s say it again, only this time stretch out the /p/ sound at the beginning of the words and let’s make our “popping popcorn” sound. “My ppppapa, the pppoliceman, has pppurple pppupies on his pppink pppajamas.” Now this time let’s break our popcorn sound off the whole word and say it. “My /p/apa, the /p/oliceman, has /p/urple /p/uppies on his /p/ink /p/ajamas.”
  4. Say: “Okay, now we are going to practice making the letter p to represent the sound /p/. [Students will need primary paper and pencils.] Start and the fence line. Go straight down into the ditch, come up and put the chin on the sidewalk. [Demonstrate on the board while talking it through.] Now, I want everyone to make the letter p. Once I put a sticker on your paper for making it correctly, I want you to make nine more p’s on your paper. You have just made the letter that makes the sound like popping popcorn. When you see it again, you will know that this letter sounds like /p/. Great Job everyone!!!
  5. Say: “Now I am going to see if you can spot the mouth move /p/ in some words. [Have students take out cards with the letter p and a picture of popcorn on one side and an X on the other side.] I will say the word and if you hear /p/ in that word show me the card with the p and picture of popcorn on it. If you do not hear the /p/ sound, show me the X side of the card. [Give words one by one.] parrot, purse, horse, up, down, computer, pink, kick. [horse, down, kick, do not have /p/ in them.]
  6. Read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and talk about the story. Say: “Now we are going to read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. This story is about a donkey named Sylvester and he finds a magic pebble. But this magic pebble gets him into some trouble. Let’s read this book to find out what happens to Sylvester.” After reading the text, read it again and have the students raise their hands when they hear the /p/ sound in words. List the words on the board. As a group, we will say each word listed stretching the ppppp sound in each word. Have each students draw a picture about what happened in the story and write a message using invented spelling to describe their picture. Display the work on the /p/ phoneme bulletin board. 
  7. Assess the students knowledge of p=/p/ by giving them the picture worksheet. Some of the pictures will have the ppppppp sound and other will not, so help them name each picture before starting. The students will be asked to color in the pictures that have the ppppp sound and leave the others plain. 
Eldredge,Jj. Loyd.Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.Prentice Hall
Inc, 1995, pg. 27.
    Steig, William.Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.Simon and Schuster, 1987.

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