Please Play With Peter Puppy!!

Emergent Literacy
By Amanda Merkel


It is a must for successful readers and writers to recognize phonemes and spoken words and the letters that those phonemes represent. Being able to recognize letters is the best predictor of reading achievement in the first grade class room. The goal of this lesson is for students to be able to identify /p/ in spoken words, find p in written words, and be able to write lower and upper case p.

~Tongue twister on chart paper: "Peppy people pet Peter puppy."

~Primary paper one per child

~Pencils one per child

~Index cards each one with a word written on it (puzzle, top, pencil, pie, nap)

~The Puppy Nobody Wanted by A.C.

~Picture worksheet for assessment (pictures: book, pen, dog, cat, penguin, pig, pizza, fish, cup, mouse, pie)

      1. Review a letter that children have already learned. For this lesson the students will review the letter m. They should review the mouth movement, what it looks like when written, and the tongue twister (Maxie monkey makes Maggie monkey mad).  After reviewing, it's time to introduce the letter p. Write a lower case p on the board and ask the class if they know what letter it is. "That's correct! It's the letter p. Who can tell what this letter sounds like? /p/ Exactly! I'm going to say it and I want you to look real close because we need to figure out how it's made. /p/ First, I put my lips together. Can everyone do that for me? Put your lips together. Then when we open them we push air out to make the /p/ sound. Let's try it all together."
      2. "Who can tell me what that kind of sounds like? I think it sounds like popcorn popping in the microwave!! Everybody make fists with your hands. When you make the /p/ sound I'd like you to  open your hands one at  time like your hands were popcorn popping. Does everyone understand?  Ready to make popcorn? Go!"

       3. Get out the chart paper that has the tongue twister on it. "Here's our tongue twister. I'm going to read it to you. Listen closely for the /p/ sounds in these words. When you hear it, I want you make popcorn." Read the tongue twister to them. "Now I want you to repeat it after me. I still want you to make popcorn when you hear the /p/ sounds. Ready? Peppy people pet Peter puppy. Great job! Now we're going to say it together by streaching out the /p/ sounds. Peppppppy Pppeoppple pppet Pppeter pppupppy. I love the way you're making popcorn when you hear the /p/ sounds. Ya'll are so smart!"

       4. "Now, I'm going to hold up some cards that have words on them. They each have a /p/ sound in them, but you've got to listen closely, because all the /p/ sounds are not at the beginning. Miss. Merkel's trying to trick you? Are you going to let me?" Hold up pictures one at a time saying the corresponding word. Stretch out each word so the /p/ sound is clear. Pictures: puzzle, top, pencil, pie, nap.

       5. "I wasn't able to trick any of you. You are just to smart to be tricked by Miss. Merkel aren't you. Let's see if that's true. I'm going to say two words and I want you to tell me which sound has /p/ in it. Ready? Do you hear /p/ in purple or blue?" Call on a student who is raising there hand to answer and ask to explain how they knew the right answer to the class. Then ask them these for extra practice. Light or lamp? Cup or mug? Play or run? Marker or sharpie?

        6. "The letter p is how we spell our /p/ sound." Have the students get out primary writing paper and a pencil. Draw a few primary paper lines on the board and model how to write it as you tell them. "To write a lower case p put your pencil on the fence, go straight down to the ditch, come up, and put his chin on the sidewalk. Everyone write an imaginary lower case p in the air. Great job! Now write it on your paper. As you write it say start at fence, straight down, come up, chin on sidewalk. Now, I want you write nine more just like it. Make sure that you say that you're phrases. If you need help just raise your hand."  After the class is done writing lower p nine more times, it's time to practice upper case. Model as you tell the students how to do it. "To write an upper case P, you start at the rooftop, go straight down to the sidewalk, back up to the rooftop, and then come around to the fence. Let's write our upper case P in the air. Now, let's write it on our paper. Make sure you say rooftop, straight down, back up, and around to the fence. Let's write it nine more times on our paper. If you need any help jsut raise your hand."

        7. "Who has ever been to the pound? What about the humane society? Our book today is called The Puppy Nobody Wanted  and it's about a little puppy who dreams about having a home and people that love him. He gets caught and taken to the pound. Will he ever get his home with people that love him or will he be stuck in the pound forever? Let's read and found out shall we? Remember to make popcorn with your hands if you hear /p/. "

        8. To assess the students individual understanding of the phoneme /p/ give each student a page with different pictures on it. Some of the pictures will begin with p, others will not. Have the students say the name of each picture to themselves and then color each picture that starts with a p.


The Puppy Nobody Wanted. A.C. Chandler. Western Publishing Company. Racine,Wisconsin. 1986.

Frey, Katheryn.

Erin Stephan.

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