“Lets Pop some Popcorn”

Emergent Literacy

Meghan Ciampi



In order to learn how to read and write, children need to be aware that spoken words have phonemes that are the sounds of the letters. They also need to understand the relationship between those sounds and the letters that represent them Today students will learn the letter p and the sound it makes. This will allow the students to make connections between the written letter and the vocal sound. The goal of this lesson is for students to be able to write a capital and a lowercase p, to recognize the connection between the written or spoken letter and its sound, and finally to recognize words or objects that begin with the letter p.





1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that all of the letters of the alphabet have different sounds. Also explain that our mouths move differently when we say the different letters. “Have you every heard popcorn popping in the microwave? Can anyone tell me what sound popcorn makes? You’re right! The sound that popcorn makes sounds a lot like the sound the letter p makes. Now, let’s all make the /p/ sound together.”  Demonstrate the /p/ sound and then have everyone join in. “Some words that have the /p/ sound are, pan, rap, and pop. Everyone pretend to pop popcorn a couple of times. I want to hear everyone making the /p/ sound, Good Job.”

2. “Now I want everyone to get out their paper and pencil. We are going to practice writing the letter p. First I am going to show you how I write a lowercase p on the board. For lowercase p, I start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. Now I want everyone to practice writing the lowercase p. If you have trouble remembering what a p looks like. Remember start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. I like how hard everyone is working on writing the lowercase letter p. Now I want everyone to watch me write a capital p. For capital P, go down, pick up, and around to the fence. Now I want everyone to practice writing a capital p.”

3. “Now we are going to read a funny tongue twister. First I am going to read it and then I want everyone to say the sentence together.  Princess Peggy picked pink pansies for Princess Patty’s party. Now lets all say it together. Good job. This time when we read the sentence, every time you hear and say the /p/ sound, I want you to pretend your hands are pieces of popcorn and make them pop in the air just like popcorn.” Repeat this activity until all of the students are popping at the correct times.

4. “Okay, now I’m going to give you a couple of words. Tell me which one you hear /p/ in. For example, I will say Do you hear /p/ in hop or dog? hhh-ooo-ppp. Hop, ddd-ooo-ggg. Dog. I hear the /p/ in hop. Now, lets look at the rest of our words.”

                                                                Do you hear /p/ in:

                                                                doze or sleep?

                                                                up or down?

                                                                sing or rap?

                                                                apple or orange?

                                                                pizza or cheese?

                                                                cat or skip?

To practice a bit more, I’m going to show you a couple of pictures. I want you to say what the picture is and if it has the /p/ sound. Hold up picture cards with the following: pig, pear, pen, bat, cat, dog, soap, plane, apple.

5.. Next we will read the book Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. Students will use the hand gesture of popping popcorn when they hear a word in the text that has the /p/ sound.



Each student will be a given a worksheet with various pictures on it that begin with the letter p and make the /p/ sound. Some pictures will not begin with the letter p and won’t have the /p/ sound. The students will have to decide which pictures do and will color them. This will allow me to know if students can recognize the letter-sound correspondence for the letter p.



Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. Random House Books for Young Readers.2002

Gina Reynolds, Perfectly Popping. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/innov/reynoldsel.html

The Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/


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