Penelope, the Precious Pig

Emergent Literacy

Katherine Harris


Rationale: Knowledge of letters and phonemic awareness have been found to bear a strong and direct relationship to success and ease of reading acquisition. Since letter recognition and grapheme-phoneme awareness is so important to beginning readers, this lesson will concentrate on introducing and improving both with the letter p.  In the lesson, the students will be able to write uppercase and lowercase p’s and identify /p/ in spoken words.


Materials: poster board with an uppercase and lowercase p on it, chart with Penelope, the precious pig, painted purple polka dots on her pink purse, chart paper, primary paper, paper to make class book, markers, picture cards with p and non-p words (pie, house, pumpkin, dog, penguin, tree, pirate, clown), worksheet with p and non-p objects (puppet, popcorn, sandbox, marker, pancakes, banana ), and Pam and Pat Pop Popcorn.



1. I will review previous learned letters and the sounds they make before teaching the new letter by saying: Who remembers what sound the letter A makes? Who remembers what sound the letter E makes? Who remembers what sound the letter I makes?, etc. Introduce the lesson by explaining that the alphabet is a secret code and that the hard part is learning what sound each letter stands for and how the mouth moves for each sound. Today, we are going to learn about the letter p and the sound it makes. Can anyone tell me what sound p makes? If they are correct, say: That is exactly right! A p makes a /p/ sound. When we say the /p/ sound, our lips push together and then open up to let a rush of air come out of our mouths. It sounds kind of like popcorn when it is popping in the microwave. Let’s see if you can make the /p/ sound like popping popcorn (and also have them pop up out of their seats like popping popcorn). Repeat after me: /p/. Good job!

2. Now, I am going to say a tongue twister that has p’s in it [on chart]. Pop up like popcorn when you hear the /p/ sound. Penelope, the precious pig, painted purple polka dots on her pink purse.  Now, repeat it after me. Let’s say it one more time. Okay, now, we are going to say it again and stretch out the /p/ in each word. Model to the students and then have them do it themselves. Ppppenelopppe, the pppprecious ppppig, pppainted pppurpppple pppolka dots on her pppink pppurse. Now, let’s break it off the word. Model and then have them do it. Great job!

3. Now that we know what a p sounds like and can hear it in words, we’re going to learn what it looks like and how to write it. Pass out primary paper to students. Show them the poster board of what a p looks like. Then, show them on chart paper how to write p’s how to write an upper and lowercase p and verbally walk through the process. Now, you try it. Still verbally explain while they are writing it. Now, write 5 uppercase p’s and 5 lowercase p’s. Go around the room to make sure they are writing them correctly and help them if they are having trouble.

4. I’m going to say some words, and if you hear the /p/ sound, pop up like popcorn. Say: pancakes, chocolate, pizza, flower, princess. Go over the words that have the /p/ sound by stretching it out.

5. I’m going to show you some pictures. If you hear the /p/ sound for an object, pop up like popcorn. Show pictures of pie, house, pumpkin, dog, penguin, tree, pirate, clown. Go over each one and stretch out the /p/ sound in the p words.

6. Now, we’re going to play a game. I am going to say two words. One will have a /p/ sound and the other won’t. Pop up on the words that have the /p/ sound. Do you hear /p/ in pink or blue? Bag or purse? Pencil or maker? Pickles or lettuce? Cow or pig? Go over each.

7. Read Pam and Pat Pop Popcorn and have them pop up like popcorn when they hear the /p/ sound.

8. Now, we are going to come up with sentences that have p words in them. Come up with a sentence that has at least 2 p words in it, but try to have as many p words as you can. Once you come up with one, share it with the person next to you. I will also call on a few students to share with the class. Now that we have thought of the sentences, we are going to write them down and draw a picture that goes with it. Then, I will put every student’s sentence and picture together in a class book. Encourage them to use inventive spellings and to be very creative. Go around the room helping them with their sentences if they need it.

9. For assessment, have the students complete a worksheet that has pictures of p and non p words (puppet, popcorn, sandbox, marker, pancakes, banana) and have them circle the p words.



Murray, Bruce. "Example of Emergent Literacy Design: Sound the Foghorn".

Marsden, Brigette, Precious Pigs.

Harrington, Meagan. P is for Popcorn.

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