PUT PUT PUT... Goes the Go-Cart

Emergent Literacy Design

By: Jessica Penny


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 (driving a go cart) 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.


-Primary paper and pencil

-Chart with ''People pulled pranks on poor polly''

-Drawing paper and crayons

-Polly's Pen Pal, Murphy,Stuart J., New York : HarperCollins, c2005.  

-Word cards with FOG, FIX, MEET, FIND, PORK, and FAKE

- Assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /f/ (URL below).


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for when the mouth moves and we make words with the sounds that come out. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /p/.  We spell /p/ with letter PP looks like a golf putter, and /p/ sounds like a go cart puttering along.

2. Let's pretend to drive go carts, /p/, /p/, /p/. [Pantomime driving go cart] Notice where your lips are? (Touching lips as they are stuck together). When we say /p/, we blow air between out top and bottom lips.

3. Let me show you how to find /p/ in the word leapt.  I'm going to stretch leapt out in super slow motion and listen for my go cart.  Lll-e-e-e-apt.  Slower: Lll-e-e-a-pppp-t There it was!  I felt my lips touch each other and blow air out in-between them. I can feel the go cart /p/ in leapt.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. People pulled pranks on poor Polly. Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /p/ at the beginning of the words. Pppeople pppulled pppranks on poor Pppolly. Try it again, and this time break it off the word: /P/ eople, /p/ ulled, /p/ ranks, on, /p/ oor, /p/ olly.

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter P to spell /p/. Capital P looks like a golf putter.  Let's write the lowercase letter 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. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /p/ in Thanks or Please? Popsicle or ice cream?  Joyful or happy? Go or Stop? Rhino or hippo? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /p/ in some words. Drive your go-cart every time you hear the /p/: The, playful, pretty, kitten, purred, and, patted, my, pants..

7.  Say: Let's read aloud this book by Stuart J. Murphy, called Polly's Pen Pal.  Ask the children if they know what a Pen Pal is, and then introduce Polly's Pen Pal by talking saying, ''A pen pal is someone from far away that you write letters back and forth too.  You can become great friends, even when you do not see them often.''  Read book, and then have the students pretend to have a pen pal.  Allow them to write a letter to them and draw a picture to go along with it.

8. Show PIG and model how to decide if it is pig or fig: The P tells me to drive my go cart, /p/, so this word is ppp-ig,  pig.  You try some: PAD: mad or pad? PONG: song or pong? FULL: full or pull? PORK: fork or pork? MARK: park or mark?



9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students are to draw a line from each of the pigs to a picture that begins with /p/, and color the pictures that begin with P. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


Murray, Bruce. ''Brush You Teeth with F'' http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/murrayel.html

Assessment worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/p-begins1.htm


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