Emergent Literacy Design: Precious Pigs

By: Brigette Marsden

precious pigs


Rationale:  Letter recognition is extremely important for beginning readers to master.  According to studies, letter recognition is one of the greatest predictors for reading success because the children recognize the letters with fluency and ease (Adams 43).  In addition, it is important for children to develop grapheme-phoneme awareness.  The goal for this lesson is for children to become more fluent with the letter p and its sound.  Also, this lesson will allow the students to practice writing the letter p which is extremely important in making the grapheme-phoneme correspondence. 



-poster board with an upper and lower case p on it and a picture of a pink pig.

-the tongue twister "Precious pigs perform with pink pancakes" on a poster

-lined chart paper and black marker

-pictures of items that begin with p (pig, pancake, pole, purse)

-pictures of items that do not begin with p (house, dog, cat)

-Book "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" by Laura Numeroff

            -Harper Collins Publishing, 1998

-primary paper for students, enough for one sheet each



1.  Introduce lesson by explaining that we will be learning about the letter p.  I will hold up the poster board with the p and pig on it.  Today we are going to learn about the letter p and the sound that it makes. Does anyone already know what sound the letter p makes?  That is great, it makes a /p/ sound. (Make sound)  The p sound is in a lot of different words, like pencil, pen, person, and pig.  Now lets say some of these words together.  What is your mouth doing as you say the /p/ sound?  When I say the /p/ sound my mouth purses together and then pops open letting a rush of breath come out.  Is that what happens to you too?  Now lets try together to make the /p/ sound and see what our mouths do.  Good job, I think we have got that down. 


2.  Now, I am going to bring out the tongue twister and we are going to practice the tongue twister.  Okay, I have made up a tongue twister that has a lot words that begin with the letter /p/.  I am going to say it first and then we will all say it together.  Say the tongue twister: precious pigs perform with pink pancakes.  Now lets slowly say it together...great job!! Okay, lets say it a bit faster.  That gets tough.  Now, I want to stretch out the /p/ sound in each of these words.  Really emphasize the p. 


3.  Next, the students will be able to practice writing the letter p.  I am so proud of how well you all have done in making the /p/ sound.  Now we are going to learn how to write the letter p so that we can know how to write the letter and make its sound.  I am going to model first and then have them follow what I did.  This is how to make thelowercase  letter p, you start at the fence and then draw and line straight down past the sidewalk into the ditch.  Now, come up and put his head on the fence and chin on the sidewalk.  Good job! Allow them to practice making the letter p along a line of primary paper.  Now we are going to do the uppercase P.  Model the upper case p and have them practice.  I am so proud of how well each of you have done in making the letter p on your paper. 


4.  After we finish writing the letter p on our paper, I am going to see if they can find the letter p in a few words.   Now that we know how to write the letter p and we know how to make its sound, I am going to show you two pictures at a time and one picture is a word that has the letter p in it and one does not.  I am going to ask you if you hear the /p/ sound in this word or the other.  Okay, do you hear the /p/ in pig or horse? Purse or bag?  Pencil or marker? Paper or book?  Great job! I am so proud of how well you are each doing at finding the /p/ sound in words.  I will make sure that the students are understanding the lesson and this assessment will help me to determine if they are understanding the lesson and have learned the letter /p/. 


5.  Then, we are going to read the book If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff. Booktalk: This is a story about a little boy who gives a pig a pancake. Well, if you give a pig a pancake, then they need all sorts of other items. How does the little boy get the pig to stop asking for other things? Well, lets read to find out. Also, I want you to listen for the p sounds in this book.  Already in the title there are some p sounds.  When you hear a p sound raise your hands and then we will slowly say the word making sure that our mouths are moving the right way.  Ready?  Now I will read the story.       


6.  Last, the students will get their sheet of primary paper out and they will write their own story using words that contain the letter p.  They will be encouraged to use invented spellings and they may illustrate if they wish.  Now, I want you to write your own story using the letter p.  You may write it about any topic you wish.  I am excited to read your stories.  Then we will share them with the class during our shared reading time.  By allowing them to share their stories, it makes the writing task authentic giving them a reason to put thought into it. 



The students will be given a worksheet with pictures of items that begin with the letter p.  Also, there will be items that do not begin with the letter p. They are to color only the items that begin with the letter p. 



Murray, Bruce.  The ReadingGenie



Murray, Bruce. "Example of Emergent Literacy Design: Sound the Foghorn".

Thornton, BeLinda. Pigs Love Pink Pancakes.


Return to Navigations Page