Get Poppin' with P

Emergent Literacy

Anna Benson


Learning letter recognition is a very important building block for reading success. Grapheme and phoneme recognition is also important to the reading achievement of a young reader. In teaching letter recognition lessons the students need to learn the grapheme along with the phoneme it represents. The goal for the lesson is for the students to able to write the upper and lower case p and know the sound that it is connected to.


Primary paper



white board or chalk board

white board marker/ chalk

letter P worksheets (class set)

The Princess and the Potty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison


1.Today we are going to learn about the letter p.  Does anyone know what sound the letter p makes?  puh-puh. Good job everyone! When we say the /p/ sound our lips press together up really close and then out.  Today we are going to learn how to spot the letter p in words.

2. Does anyone know of something that makes the /p/ sound?  A motorboat makes the puh sound, and so does popcorn that is popping.  Whenever you hear the puh sound I want you to make your hands act like they are popping. (Demonstrate for the class what this looks like.)

3. I want you to first listen to me say the tongue twister then we will say it as a class, "Polly put a pencil in her pocket." Now as a class we are going to try this tongue twister. "Polly put a pencil in her pocket." Now let's say it together. Making the p sound longer than the other sounds that we hear. I would also like for you to make your hands pop whenever you hear the p sound. "PPPPolly pppput a ppppencil in her ppppocket." Very good! I love the way all of your hands popped!

4.  Have students take out primary paper and pencil. We use letter P to spell /p/. Watch me as I write a p. To write a capital P you draw a straight line from the rooftop to the sidewalk. Then you take your pencil back up to the rooftop and make a half circle and connect it to your line at the fence. Like this (show example here talking the students through it as you go). For a lower case p you do the same thing except you start your line at the fence and take it into the ditch. Start your half circle back up at the fence and connect it at the sidewalk. Once your work has been checked please make 9 more on your paper.

5.  Now we are going to listen for the /p/ in the different words. I will ask you questions such as do you hear /p/ in pig or big? in pork or fork? in pail or mail? etc.   Please pop your hands whenever you hear the p sound.

6.  You will also hear /p/ at the end of words as well. For example we hear /p/ in flip at the end of the word. It also appears in the middle of words like in the word people we hear it at the beginning and in the middle of the word. So let's try our game again, remember pop your hands when you hear /p/. Do you hear it in bank or staple? clap or bang? etc.

7. Now we are going to read a book called The Princess and the Potty  Whenever you hear our special sound, what is our special sound can you all make it for me? Wow! That's right!  "puh-puh-puh"  Whenever you hear that sound I want you to pop your hands like we have been practicing. Give a short book talk, A long long time ago there was a princess who was very picky about the potty that she used. She was never happy with her potty! That sounds silly doesn't it? But will she ever find her perfect potty? Let's find out! Here we go!

8.  For the assessment a worksheet will be passed out with pictures that make the /p/ sound and pictures that do not make the /p/ sound. The students should color the pictures that start or end with the /p/ sound.  This will show me that they can recognize the movement their mouths make when they say the words. 


Murray, Bruce. Brush Your Teeth With F.


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