Picture Perfect Popcorn!

Emergent Literacy Lesson

Ashley Roy




Title: Picture Perfect P


Rationale: This lesson is designed to teacher students to identify and locate p=/p/ in spoken and written words. Students will also understand and learn what phonemes are. Students will become successful readers and writers when they can locate individual phonemes of the alphabet and their sounds.



Primary Paper,


Chart with "Peter Puts Popcorn in a Pail to Pop"

Pictures of 6 of the 19 things: pizza, popcorn, pencils, puppies, pan, paint, panda, paper, people, piano, pineapple, pig, pirate, plate, soap, brush, tooth, car, dog

Dry erase board


Bag with the following items inside: Pencil, Paper, Pen, Pecan, Puzzle Piece, ball, cup, dice

The Popcorn Book



1.Introduce the lesson to the students

Say to students, "Today, we will learn about the letter p. The letter p makes the /p/ sound. You can hear the /p/ sound in the word picture and paint. Do you know any other words with the /p/ sound?"

2. Children will practice saying the /p/ sound and learn a meaningful gesture for the /p/ sound. This gesture will be using your hands and opening them to make the popcorn sound. Ready! Ppppp (open both hands) Ppppp (open both hands)

Say to students, "When I think about the sound that /p/ makes, I think about a piece of popcorn popping!" Demonstrate to the students a piece of popcorn popping and saying "/p/ /p/" for the popping of the popcorn. Ask students, "Can you show me how to pop some popcorn?" Say, "When I say /p/, how does my mouth look? Look at how my lips start out together and then they open as a puff of air comes out. Now let's pop our popcorn while we practice the /p/ sound."

3. Have students say: "Peter Puts Popcorn in a Pail to Pop." I will first demonstrate aloud how to say the tongue twister 'Ppppeter Pppputs Ppppoppppcorn in a Ppppail to Ppppop' Students will then say the tongue twister off of the poster board aloud with me. The first time the students and I will just say it. The second time the students and I say it stressing the /p/ sound and using the new hand gesture that we learned.

4. The letter p can sometimes be a problem to write. Give each student a piece of primary paper and a pencil to use through this activity. Using the marker board, demonstrate how to write p and P. Talk student through the process of writing p. Give assistance as needed.

Say to students, "I am going to show you how I write the lowercase letter p. First, watch me write p and then you can practice on your paper. (Write as you talk) start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. Now say it with me as you practice. start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. Let us try again. Now write little p six times."

Say to students, "I am going to show you how I write the uppercase letter P. First, watch me write P and then you can practice on your own paper. (Write as you talk) Go down, pick up, and around to the fence. Now say it with me as you practice. Go down, pick up, and around to the fence. Now write big P six times."

5. Play a drawing game to help students hear the /p/ sound in words. Students will select items out of a bag. When the item is selected, students will name the item aloud and say whether they hear the /b/ sound or not in the items name.

Tell students, "We are going to play a drawing game. Each of you is going to pick an item out of my bag. When you draw an item out, you will name the item and tell if that item begins with a /p/ sound. For example, I selected a __________. I do/do not hear the /p/ sound in _________." Do this with each student and repeat if necessary.

6. Read The Popcorn Book aloud to students. Each time that students hear a word with the /p/ sound, the students will silently do the hand gesture that I taught them for /p/.

Tell students, "I am going to read The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola aloud now. While I read, each time that you hear the /p/ sound, I want you to silently make the motion that we use for /p/. (Show motion) Let's practice with the title. Ready. Remember to only do the motion when you hear the /p/ sound." Remember our motion was popping popcorn. (PPPOP!)


Give students coloring sheet with six pictures on it. Students are to color only the pictures that have the /p/ sound. I will talk to each student while they work to determine if they have any problems with the letter p. We will color and then discuss their pictures.


Collins, Virginia. Bad Baby B. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/collinsel.html

Murray, Bruce. Teaching Letter Recognition http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/letters.html

Murray, Bruce. Mouth Moves and Gestures for Phonemes. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/mouthmoves.html

dePaola, Tomie. The Popcorn Book. Holiday House. (May 1984)  http://www.amazon.com/Popcorn-Book-Tomie-dePaola/dp/0823405338

Return to the passages index.