"Let’s Pop Some Popcorn with P"

Emergent Literacy Design

By: Elizabeth Earnest

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 memorable and meaningful representation (popcorn popping) 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 paper and pencil; chart with “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Suess’s ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards with POP, POND, PIT, HACK, NEST, and PAST ; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /p/ (URL below).


Procedures: 1. Say: Our written alphabet is a kind of code that we must break. It is very important for us to learn how the letters in our alphabet sound when we say them. Our mouths move in different ways to make different letters. Today we are going to work on recognizing the mouth move /p/. We spell /p/ with letter P. P looks like a person who is full from eating popcorn, and /p/ sounds like popcorn popping.


2. Let’s pretend we are popcorn popping, /p/, /p/, /p/. [Pantomime hands popping like popcorn.] Notice how your lips move when you say /p/. They start together and then pop open while blowing air out.


3. Let me show you how to find /p/ in the word slept. I’m going to stretch slept out in slow motion and listen for the popping popcorn. Sll-e-e-ept. Slower: Sss-slll-sle-e-eppp-t. There it was! I felt my lips popping open and air coming out. I can feel the popcorn popping /p/ in slept.

4. Let’s try a fun tongue twister [on chart]. “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” Everybody say it three times together. Now, let’s say it again, and this time, stretch the /p/ at the beginning of the words. “PPPeter PPPiper pppicked a pppeck of pppickled pppeppers.” Try it again, and this time, let’s break it off of the word: “/p/ eter /p/ iper /p/ icked a /p/ eck of /p/ickled /p/eppers.”


5. [Have all students take out primary paper and pencil.] We use letter P to spell /p/. Capital P looks like a man with a big chest or belly from eating so much popcorn. Let’s write the lowercase letter p. Start at the fence and draw a line straight down into the ditch. Then, go back up to the fence and curve around to give the little p a big belly. I want to see everyone’s p. After I give your p a smiley face, I want you to keep practicing making lowercase p by writing nine more.


6. Choose students to answer the following questions and tell how they knew the answer: “Do you hear /p/ in marker or pen? Purse or necklace? Prize or game? Step or walk?  Let’s see if you can find and point out the mouth move /p/ in some words. Pop your hands like popcorn if you hear /p/: The, pink, pig, piled, up, many, peach, pies.


7. Say: “Next, we are going to look at an alphabet book by Dr. Suess. He uses many words that start with P. Let’s read his rhymes to see what he wrote about letter P.” Read the two pages with letter P, drawing out /p/. Ask the students if they can think of other words with /p/. Ask them to make up a silly rhyme that uses /p/, just like Dr. Suess. Then, have each student write their silly rhyme with invented spelling and illustrate it. Display their work when it is complete.


8. Show POP and model how to decide if it is pop or hop: The P tells me to pop some popcorn, /p/, so this word is ppp-o-p, pop. You try some—POND: pond or bond? PIT: fit or pit? HACK: hack or pack? NEST: pest or nest? PAST: last or past?


9. For the assessment, hand out the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with P. Call the students individually to read the phonetic cue words from Step #8.





Design Reference: Murray, G. Emergent Literacy Design: "M...m Good!" I say with M.


Assessment Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/p-begins2.htm


Design Image: http://teacherweb.com/FL/SpringwoodElementary/MrsCorrigan/apt12.aspx

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