Popping Popcorn with P!

Elizabeth Boshart

Emergent Literacy

Rationale:  Before students can learn to read and write, they need to have phoneme awareness. In order for children to become phonemically aware, they need to learn each of the phonemes one at a time. This lesson will help students recognize the phoneme /p/ which is represented by the grapheme p.  Students will learn to listen for the phoneme /p/ by associating it with popping popcorn.  They will also learn how to write the letter p.  Finally, this lesson will allow students to learn how to listen for the sound in spoken words and recognize it in written words.



1. Primary paper

2. Pencils

3. Dry erase board or chalkboard

4.  Video of popcorn popping

5. Flashcards with pop, pick, and pot written on them

6. Worksheet with pictures of words that start with p and words that do not start with p


1.  Say, "Today we are going to learn about a new letter that is in a lot of words that we hear every day."  Then write p on the chalkboard.  "Can anyone tell me what this letter is? Very good! This is the letter p."

2. "In order to listen for the letter p, we are going to pop some popcorn."  Show students the video of the popcorn popping.

3. "Now, we are going to make the p sound ourselves.  In order to make the p sound, I am going to put my lips together, blow, and then push them out.  Watch and listen to me as I make the popping sound.  Watch my mouth to see the movement it makes." Model the p sounds and then  have the class repeat it.

4.  "When I say the word pat I hear my p sound.  Everyone say that word with me....pat."  Ask the students if they hear the /p/ sound in pack or sack, pin or tin, pan or man, pop or mop.

5. "Now we are going to learn how to write the letter p."  Either pass out primary paper or have students get out their own primary paper and a pencil.  First, model how to write a lowercase p by saying, "The p drops down below the ground and then loops back up."  Have the students repeat this saying as they practice writing the lowercase p.

6.  Have students write 10 lowercase p's on their own while you walk around and examine their work.

7.  Show students how to write the uppercase P by saying, "The uppercase P stretches to the rooftop and then loops back down around the front.

8.  Model writing the uppercase P a few times, and then have students write it 10 times on their own.

9.  Now I am going to read a story called Nan and Pap.  Nan and Pap both like to take long naps.  One day while they were awake they found a big pan, but they didn't know what to do with it.  Will they have time to nap?  What will they do with the pan?  We will have to read to find out what Nan and Pap decide to do!  Listen closely as I read for the popcorn popping /p/ sound. When you hear the /p/ raise your hand high in the air.

10.  "Now I am going to show you a few words, and I am going to ask if it is one word or the other.  Show the words and ask, "Is this pop or mop?  Is this pit or fit?  Is this peel or reel?"

11.  To assess what the students have learned, pass out the following worksheet that has various pictures on it.  Tell students, "Some of the pictures on this worksheet will start with p and some will not. Color all of the pictures that start with the letter p."




Kizer, Meredith.  "Popping P's and Popcorn." http://www.auburn.edu/~mek0008/kizerel.html

Angel, Veronica. Nan and Pap.  www.readinga-z.com/book/decodable.php?id=3.

Super Teacher Worksheets. http://superteacherworksheets.com/phonics-beginningsounds/letter-p_WFMWZ.pdf


Return to Rendezvous index