Pop, Pop, Pop Goes the Popcorn!

Susan Grimes
Emergent Literacy

Rationale:  This lesson will help children identify /p/,the phoneme represented by P.  Students will learn to recognize /p/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (fingers burst out to emulate popping corn) and the letter symbol P, practice finding /p/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /p/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials:  Primary pencils and pencil; chart with “Patrick punches puffy pillows”; dry erase boards (these boards have primary paper line markings on them) with markers, word cards with PUT, PLANE, PANT, PINK, BOAT, and PLOP; drawing paper and crayons, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /p/.

Procedures:  1.  Say: "Writing letters is like writing secret code.  To break the code we need to learn what the letters stand for.  Our mouth moves a certain way when we say words.  Today we are going to work on finding the words with the mouth movement /p/ (model this movement).  We spell /p/ with the letter P.  P reminds me of popcorn and the sound it makes while popping."
2. "Let’s pretend we are popping corn, /p/, /p/, /p/. (Model hand gestures of popping).  Notice how your lips are (pressed together).  When we say /p/, we press our lips together then blow a puff of air out."
3. "Let me show you how to find /p/ in the word push.  I’m going to stretch push out in slow motion and you listen for the popcorn sound.  Pppp-uuu-sh-sh-sh.  I felt the puff of air come out at the beginning of the word."
4. "Now let’s try a tongue tickler (on chart)."  I read, "Patrick punches puffy pillows."  "Everybody say it three times together.  Now say it again, but this time, stretch the  /p/  at the beginning of each of the words.  “Ppppatrick ppppunches ppppuffy ppppillows.”  Try it again and this time break it off the word: “/p/ atrick /p/ punches /p/ uffy /p/ illows."
5. (Distribute dry erase boards and markers)  "We use the letter P to spell /p/.  Let’s write a capital P. Start at the rooftop, go down, pick up and go around to the fence.  Now let’s try a lowercase p.  Start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk.  I want to see everybody’s p.  When I put a star on your, please make nine more just like it."
6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew:  "Do you hear /p/ in put or get?  Shirt or pant?  Blue or pink?  Plane or boat?  drag or drop?"   I will say, “Let’s see if you can feel the mouth move /p/ in some words.  Make your fingers pop the popcorn if you hear /p/:  The, pushy, person, left, the, purple, pillows, beside, the puffy, couch."  
7. Say: “Let’s look at an alphabet book.  A man named E. J. Sullivan wrote a book about Alabama.  He used each letter of the alphabet to show something special about our state.  Can you guess what he might have used for P?"  Show the picture on page 17.  "It’s Grandma’s pecan pie!"  Show your popping corn hand motion when you hear the /p/.  “P is for Grandma’s homemade ppppecan ppppies.”  Ask them to think of another food that begins with /p/.  Then have each student draw a picture of their food choice and, using invented spelling, write the name of it.  Display their work.
8. Show PUT and model how to decide if it is put or but:  "The P tells me to show my hands popping corn, /p/, so this word is ppp-ut, put.  You try some: PLANE: plane or cane?  PANT: pant or rant?  PINK: pink or think?  PLOP: plop or cot?"
9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with P.  Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.

References:  
"Hand Gestures for Phonemes", The Reading Genie Website/Materials.
"Patrick punches puffy pillows".  From www.mrsmcgowan.com.  
Lesson referenced: "P is for Popcorn" by Meagan Harrington.  Encounters - Fall 2007.  The Reading Genie website.
Sullivan, E. J., Eldredge, Ernie.  A is for Alabama.  Sweetwater Press: China.  2006.
Worksheet: from www.teachervision.fen.com/tv/printables/scottforesman/Read_K_U1_Phonics42.pdf  
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