Emergent Literacy: Bubble Popping P


Emergent Literacy

Katelyn Jernigan


This lesson with assist children as they learn to identify the phoneme /p/ represented by the grapheme P.  They will also learn how to recognize /p/ in spoken words, how to identify it in words, as well as how to write it.  According to Adams's book, letter-recognition is the key factor that leads to beginning reading achievement. 



-poster with upper and lowercase P

-poster with tongue twister "Polly popped popcorn for Papa Peter"

-primary paper; pencil

-Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss (Beginner Books, 1963)

-drawing paper

-coloring supplies

-assessment worksheet (URL below)

-cards with words PIG, HOT, PAN, PORT, PRY, and FUN



1. "Today we are going to explore the letter P which we say like /p/."  [Show poster with Pp] "P looks a little like a bubble on the end of a stick and /p/ sounds like the popping of a bubble."

2. "We are going to make our hands like a bubble.  Put your hands in a fist and when you say /p/, open them really fast."  [Model your hands popping]  "What do your lips do before you say /p/?  That's right!  They are together.  Then, you open your lips and air goes out really fast, making the /p/ sound."

3. "Now we are going find the /p/ in the word shop by saying it very slow.  Listen for the popping sound.  Shhh-o-o-p-p.  There it is.  My lips came together and then let the air out very fast.  Say it with me.  Shhh-o-o-p-p.  Shop!"

4. "Listen to me say the tongue twister: 'Polly popped popcorn for Papa Peter.'  Let's say it three times together.  Now let's say it again and stretch out the /p/ at the beginning of the words: 'Pppolly pppopped pppopcorn for Pppapa Pppeter.'  Let's say in one more time by breaking off the /p/ at the beginning: '/p/olly /p/opped /p/opcorn for /p/apa /p/eter.'"

5. "Here is some paper and a pencil.  We are going to learn to write the lowercase letter p.  Start at the fence and make straight line down and stop in the ditch.  Go back up to the fence and make the bubble and make it come around and stop at the sidewalk.  Awesome!  Now make ten in a row."

6. "Do you hear /p/ in salt or pepper?  Puppy or kitten?  Blue or purple?  Up or down?  Pants or shirt?  Now can you find popping /p/ in these words?  Pop your hands if you do:  the, pig, ran, past, the, pond, and, plopped, in, the, puddle."

7. "Let's read a book.  [Read Hop on Pop]  Can you hear all the /p/ that Dr. Seuss uses?  Now you think of a word that has the letter P.  [Give students paper and coloring supplies]  "Write it on your paper and draw a picture of it."  [Invented spelling is encouraged]


[Pass out worksheet] "Now these three pigs need help finding their way to the objects that start with P.  Draw a line from the pigs to the object." [Show PIG card] "Is this word pig or fig?  The /p/ tells me that the word is popping so this word is pp-ig, pig.  Now try these.  HOT: pot or hot?  PAN: pan or man?  PORT: port or fort?  PRY: pry or cry?  FUN: pun or fun?"  [Do this individually]


Harris, Katherine: Penelope the Precious Pig.

Adams, Marilyn. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print: A Summary. Champaign: Center for the Study of Reading Research and Education Center. 1990. p 43.

Assessment Worksheet

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