“Poppy P”


I. Emergent Literacy

Whitney Patterson



Children must be able to distinguish individual sounds in a word before they can begin to read and write. The smallest unit of a sound in a word is called a phoneme. Phonemes are the basic vocal gestures or “mouth moves” in which words are constructed. In this lesson, students will be able to readily recognize the /p/ phoneme in spoken and written words through instruction, decodable text, and worksheets.



Primary paper, pencils, 1 large copy of Nap in a Pan decodable text, poster with tongue twister: “Pretty pink poodles pose for pictures”, worksheet with pictures of objects that begin with the letter /p/ and words that do no begin with the letter /p/ with the following words: pencils, bat, heart, pineapple, happy-face, pig, barn, bananas, pears, pizza, lightening, pail (1 per student), dry erase board (for teacher), dry erase marker, stickers (any kind)



1.) Begin by telling students that we make different mouth moves for different sounds in the words we say. Explain to the students that today they will be learning many things about the /p/ sound including the way our mouth moves when we say /p/, we  will be able to identify a /p/ sound when we hear it spoken, and also be able to recognize the letter/p/ as a written word when we see it.

2.) Ask students if they have ever seen or heard popcorn when it is cooking. “What sound does it make?” Tell them, “Today, we are going to make the same popping sounds with our mouth!” Have students practice forming the /p/ sound with their lips by pressing both lips together, then blowing the air out. Say, “Let’s say /p/ together. As we make our popping /p/ sound, let’s ball up our fist then pop out our fingers when we say /p/. Ready? Let’s try it together! /p/ /p/ /p/ /p/ POP!” Have students practice a few times as necessary.

3.) Say, “Now, let’s try a silly tongue twister.” (Use poster to point to the words as you say them). “I’ll say it first and you listen, then we will say it together.” “Pretty pink poodles pose for pictures.” “Okay, now let’s try it together!” Repeat tongue twister with students. “Great Job!” “This time, let’s say /p/ three times whenever we hear one. Ready? Pppretty pppink pppoodles pppose for pppictures. Wonderful! Now, let’s make a fist again and pop out our fingers as we hear the p’s in our tongue twister. Excellent everyone!”

4.) “Now, I need everyone to take out 1 piece of paper and a pencil and we are going to write the lowercase letter p. I need everyone to first watch me as I demonstrate how to draw the lowercase p. First, we will start with our pencil on the dotted fence line, go straight down past the sidewalk and in the ditch. Now, I will go straight up to the fence on the line I just drew and curl around to the right, down and around until I touch my line again on the sidewalk. Now, I want you to try.  When I come by and put a sticker on your paper, I want you to write 9 more ppperfect p’s!”

5.) After everyone has finished, read students a list of words and have them raise their hand when they hear a word with the /p/ sound in it. Ask students” Do you hear the /p/ in push or look? Do you hear the /p/ sound in up or down? Do you hear the /p/ sound in hog or pop? Do you hear the /p/ sound in taco or pizza? Do you hear the /p/ sound in David or Paul? Do you hear the /p/ sound in party or dance? Do you hear the /p/ sound in tan or tap?

6.)”Okay, now I need you to put on your thinking caps and try to think of yummy food that begins with the letter p. Let me get you started thinking on the right track. A yummy food that I can think of that begins with the letter p is ‘pudding’. I’ll give you about 1 minute to think of some great examples. Raise your hand when you think of one.” After time is up, make a list of student’s answers. Possible answers could be: peanuts, pizza, pudding, pickles, popcorn, peaches, pears, pancakes, peas, pies, plums, pumpkins, potatoes, peppers, pistachios.

7.) Next, invite students to stand beside their desk and sing the “I love p’s song”. Start off the song for students. “This song is called ‘I love p’s’ and is sung to the tune of ‘Skip to My Lou’. I will sing it one time for you and then we will sing together through our list of yummy /p/ words we just came up with. Ready? Let’s have some fun!” “I like pudding, yes I do, I like pudding, yes I do, I like pudding, yes I do, and my tummy likes it too!”

8.) “Great job singing everyone! Now’s let’s sit in our desk and I am going to read you a story about 2 dogs who like to sleep in strange places. As I read, I want you to hold your fist in the air and pop out your fingers whenever you hear a /p/ word.” (Read Nap in a Pan).

9.) For assessment, I will give students the worksheet to color the objects that begin with the letter /p/ and also to have students correctly label the /p/ words by using the word bank at the bottom of the worksheet.



Angel, Veronica. Nap in a Pan. (2002). www.readinga-z.com Decodable Book 3a: Learning Page Inc.


McClanahan, Hope. Pop Popcorn Pop!



Watson, Sue. The Letter P: Picture and Word Match.


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