Polka Pig

Emergent Literacy

Ally Johnson



This lesson is designed to teach upper and lower case Pp and the phoneme that corresponds, because research shows that knowing letter-sound correspondences are necessary in being able to decode, and decoding is necessary for reading.  I am also teaching this because the state of Alabama requires that students in kindergarten know this information.  The students will learn the p letter sound correspondence.  Here are the Alabama Course of Study guidelines for Kindergarten Language Arts that relate to this lesson.  They are followed by learning goals for this lesson.

5.) Recognize and name upper- and lower-case letters.

- the students will be able to recognize the letter p (upper and lower case) when it is used in a word or seen individually; the students will also learn the letter name p and connect this name to the letter when they encounter it

6.) Demonstrate an initial understanding of letter-sound relationships.

-the students will be able to identify the p consonant sound, /p/, when it is heard in text and or in individual words

21.) Write upper- and lower-case letters.

- the students will have opportunities the practice writing the upper and lower case p



Polka Pig

• marker to write on the board with

• pocket chart

• visual of upper and lower case p's on a picture of a pig

• each student needs a pencil and crayons

• paper with a line at the top for them to trace and write p's, then space below to draw

• 3 pictures

• word cards with all of the p words from the story written and on them (some will also have illustrations on them) (pretty, pig, polka, pink, purple, polka-dotted, peace, petunia, picture, pumpkin, pine, pom-pom, plane, parachute, parachuting, Pete, pilot, pickles, place, pleasant, pulled, pulling, push, pushed, popped, pile, paste, pleased, picked, picking, prickly, pool, paint, princess, Penny, puffball, pillows, playground, pansy, patch, paths)




• The students should have already learned to hear and identify some of the short vowel sounds (/a/, /e/ and /i/) and some of the beginning consonant correspondences.

Explain Why/How

• The teacher will read Polka Pig

• After she reads the book, the teacher will introduce the letter P to the students by showing them the upper and lower case p letters printed on a pig. 

Teacher This is the letter P – pointing to the upper and lower case letters.  This letter makes the /p/ sound as in pig.  Can everyone say the /p/ sound with me.  The story I just read had a lot of words that begin with the letter p in it.  Can you remember any of them?  (If for some reason all of the students answer no, than the teacher will reread the story.)  If you remember a p word from the story please raise your hand and when I call on you tell me the word.  I will write your word on the board and then I will point to it.  When I point to the word, please say it with me and the rest of the class.  Each time someone says a new word I will write it on the board, and then we will repeat all of the words beginning with the first one. Let's try it. 

• The teacher will call on a student and write his or her p word on the board.  She will have the class repeat that word.  When the next student names a p word from the story, the teacher will write it on the board, and then the class will repeat the first word, then the second word.  When a third student names another p word, the teacher will write it on the board.  The class will repeat the first, second, and third p word.  As the class is repeating the word, the teacher will point to the written word on the board.  This will continue until no more p words from the story can be recalled by the students. 

Teacher –   Now I am going to teach you how to write the upper case letter p and the lower case letter p.  Watch and listen as I make this letter on the board.  (The teacher will have 3 lines drawn on the board that look like primary lined paper; she will demonstrate each step as she says it to the students.)  To write the capital P, first make a straight line from the top line to the bottom line.  Then pick up your pencil and go back to your staring point on the top line.  Draw a half circle between the top line and the middle line.  The half circle curves around and along the middle line until it meets with the first line you made.  That's the capital P.  Now please practice drawing the capital letter p in the air with you finger, also try using your finger to draw it on your desk.  Now I will show you how to draw the lower case or small p.  It also begins with a straight line.  Start on the middle line and draw a little ways below the bottom line.  Retrace this line back up, and then begin making a circle.  Keep your circle going all the way around to the bottom line, the make it curve up to meet the first straight line that you drew.  That is the lower case p.  Practice this by using your finger to make a lowercase p in the air, then on your desk.  Now I am going to give you a sheet of paper to practice writing the letter p on it.  You will see an outline of 3 upper case and lower case letter p's on it.  I would like for you to trace the letters remembering how I showed you on the board and then beside what you have traced, write 3 upper case p's and 3 lower case p's.  Please begin. 

• When all of the students have finished tracing/writing their letters p's, the teacher will have the students look back up at the board. 

TeacherI am going to read this list of words that we got from our story, please listen carefully.  The teacher will read each word in the list and point to it as she reads it.  Now students I want you to pick 3 words from this list that you would like to draw a picture of.  When you have decided on your three words, begin drawing, one in each section of your paper.  If you would like to write the word that you drew, please do so under your picture. 

• While the students are drawing their pictures, the teacher will go around to each student and give them a word card (The teacher will only pass out the word cards of the words that are listed on the board).  The teacher will tell the student what word is written on the word card.  She will tell them to keep the word card on their desk because they will be using it later.  After all of the words cards have been passed out, and all of the students have finished illustrating their 3 p words, the teacher will collect their papers and then call the students over to the reading rug.


Whole Texts

TeacherPlease join me and the rest of your classmates over here on the rug.  Please bring your word card that I gave you.  I am going to read our list of p words out one more time and then I am going to read the story of Polka Pig again.  This time when I read the story, listen for the word that is on your word card.  When you hear it, please bring it up and tape it next to where I have written that word up here on the board.  If no one has a word card of one the p words that I read, I will place it up here in the pocket chart.

• The teacher will begin to read the story of Polka Pig.  Each time she comes to a p word, she will pause and let the student with that word card bring it up and tape it on the board.  If for some reason they do not match up the word correctly, the teacher will simply tell the student were to replace it.  If no one has a word card for a word that was read, the teacher will have that word card and place it in the pocket chart.  This will continue until the end of the story.  At the end, all of the words in the list on the board will have a matching word card taped next to it, and the pocket chart will have the rest of the p words from the story in it. 



• The teacher will model saying the correct /p/ sound for the students before they are asked to say it themselves.  The teacher will also model and demonstrate the correct way to write the upper case and lower case letter p


Simple Practice

• The students will independently illustrate three p words from the story that they choose.  They will also individually practice writing the letters Pp by tracing and writing each 3 times. 



• The teacher will asses the students papers that they have illustrated p words on and have practiced writing the letter p on.  The teacher will check to see if there are three illustrations and most importantly check to see if the illustrations are of words that were on the word list from the board, or words that begin with p.  If the teacher is unsure of what a particular illustration is showing, she will ask student to explain his/her drawing.  By assessing the illustrations, the teacher will be able to tell if the students have learned or picked up on the p letter sound correspondence, for example, if a student draws a dog, then the teacher knows that they did not pick a p word from the board to illustrate.  This may mean the student does not understand the p letter sound correspondence and cannot connect a word that begins with a p to an illustration.  From the same paper, the teacher will also assess the students' writing the upper and lower case p's.  The teacher will check to make sure the p's were formed correctly and are ledge able.  By looking at these papers, the teacher will be able to identify which students can correctly form/write the letter, and those who may need more practice.  Also, as the students are matching their p words on their word card to the words on the board, the teacher will informally check to see if each student 1) hears their word, and then brings it to the board to match it to the same word in the list, and 2) correctly matches it.  The students who are able to do both correctly are able to hear the p sound and also recognize and match written text. 



• Coubron, J. (1982). Alaphabet stories: puppets and picture stories that teach letter recognition and sounds. Carthage, Il: Fearon Teacher Aids.


• Abby Davis, First Grade, Yulee Elementary School, Yulee, FL, 2010. 


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