Peanut and Pearl’s Picnic Adventure

 Shana Zink
Emergent Literacy


Rational: Letter recognition is one of the most important steps toward children learning to successfully read and write. The goal of this lesson is to teach the students to recognize the letter p in print and the phoneme /p/ in spoken words. Another goal for this lesson is for the students to recognize both upper and lower case P, and to successfully participate in the mouth movement involved with P.


1.  Large picture of Peanut and Pearl

2.  Poster board with tongue twister: “Peanut please pass the pink pitcher to Pearl!”

3.  Primary Writing Paper

4.  Pencils (for students)

5.  Dry erase marker

6.  Dry erase board

7.  Peanut and Pearl’s Picnic Adventure
by Rebecca Dotlich, illustrated by R.W. Alley
8.  Picture cards with words that begin with p and words that do not begin with p. (Ex. Prince and Queen)

9.  Worksheet for assessment with pictures of words beginning with p and pictures of those not beginning with p. (Ex. Pea, moon, pear, dog)


1.  The teacher introduces the lesson by explaining that language is like a secret code and that we all must first learn to recognize what each letter stands for. 
2.  First, we will review the letter we have already learned. “I am going to write a letter on the board and when I snap my finger I want you all to make the sound that each letter creates.” Have the students give examples of words that start with each of these letters. “Great job class, I loved the way everyone participated and came up with their own words for these sounds.”
3.  Tell the students, “Today we are going to talk about the letter p and the sound that it makes.”  Show the students the chart with the letter p written on it.  Now ask the students what their mouth does while we make the /p/ sound.
4.  Let the students practice the /p/ sound until everyone has got it down. Next, ask a student to tell you the movements their mouth makes as they pronounce the sound.
5.  “Okay now I am going to pronounce two words. You will choose which word in the pair has the /p/ sound. Let’s try one together. Does pen or mat have the /p/ sound? P-e-n, m-a-t, I hear /p/ in pen. Do you all agree? Now give the students the opportunity to answer the questions.
6.  Bring out poster with the Tongue Twister on it. State the expectations: "Now we are going to practice a tongue twister using the /p/ sound.  I am going to say it first and then we will say it together."  When reading the tongue twister say it with much expression and encourage students to do the same. "Listen, Peanut please pass the pink pitcher to Pearl!” Now let us say it together slowly, paying close attention to the /p/ sound. Make sure each student has a thorough understanding of the /p/ sound used each time in the tongue twister.
7.  Next, the students will practice writing the letter p.  Students now should take out primary paper and pencil and model what you do"First, I am going to model it then I want you to try. To write a p put your pencil on the fence, go straight down to the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. Now let me see you try on your paper.Allow them to practice making the letter p along a line of primary paper. 
8.  At this point, I will have students listen as I read the story “Peanut and Pearl’s Picnic Adventureby Rebecca Dotlich, illustrated by R.W. Alley. Before I begin, I will give a quick book talk.  "We are going to read a story about Peanut and Pearl who decide to pack food for a picnic in the woods. Something does not go as planned, will the friends be able to enjoy their picnic properly?"  During the reading, ask the students to pat their stomach as if they were every time we hear the /p/ sound in a word.
9.  “Everybody did a great job!” For assessment, I am going to pass out the worksheet with pictures on it. The students will circle the picture with the /p/ sound.


Harrington, Meagan. "P is for Popcorn".

Dotlich, Rebecca. Peanut and Pearl's Picnic Advewnture. (2006). Harper Collins. 

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