Popping P's and Popcorn


Emergent Literacy

Meredith Kizer


Rationale: Recognizing a phoneme is a critical skill that must be mastered before children can successfully read and write. Children must be able to distinguish between sounds to further their understanding of language. This lesson engages children in hands on instruction, decodable texts, and activities to enhance their understanding of the phoneme /p/. Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to recognize the phoneme /p/ in spoken and written language.


Materials: pencils, primary paper, crayons, tongue twister on poster "Pretty Peggy plants pumpkins in a patch", note cards with a picture of popcorn & the letter p on them, The Pigs Picnic, assessment worksheet for each student. Chart paper with the words pig, play, hop, ran, house written on it.




1.     Teacher says: "Have you ever stopped to think about the different sounds you hear in words? This can be pretty tricky if you don't know what sounds the letters make. Today we are going to focus on how we make /p/. The letter p makes the /p/ sound."


2.     Teacher says: Remember, to write the letter p we start with our pencil at the fence, and we go down into the ditch. Then we come back up and place his chin on the sidewalk. Watch as I draw the letter p. Okay, take out a piece of primary paper and practice writing the letter p. When you are finished hold your paper up for me to see. Great job!


3.     Teacher says: Who has heard popcorn popping in the microwave before? What sound does it make? Yes, it makes the /p/ /p/ /p/ sound just like our letter p. Lets all make the popcorn sound together (/p/ /p/ /p/). Fabulous! Notice how I start with my lips together and then I push them out to let out a "puff" of air.


4.     Teacher says: I am going to show you how to find the /p/ sound in the word "pig". First, I am going to stretch the word out so that I know when I hear the popcorn popping: Pppp-iiii-ggggg. Pppp…..there it is! Do you hear the /p/ sound in P-i-g? I heard my popcorn pop at the beginning of the word "pig", so I know there is a p at the beginning of the word pig. Lets all say "pig" slowly: pppp-iii-gggg. Now say it slower and realllly stretch out the beginning sound: ppppppppp-iii-g. I can hear the popcorn popping in pig.


5.     Teacher says: Everybody look at this poster. One day a lady named Peggy decided she wanted to plant something, so she did. (Read tongue tickler) "Pretty Peggy plants pumpkins in a patch". Hmm, as I read that I heard a lot of popcorn popping. Let's figure out where. Let's say our tongue tickler: Pretty Peggy plants pumpkins in a patch. Now lets stretch out the words to find where the popcorn pops.


6.     Teacher gives each student a note card with a picture of popcorn on one side and the printed letter "P" on the other side.


7.     Teacher says: Everyone look at the note card I just gave you. Notice there is a picture of popcorn on one side. What letter is on the back? Good! The letter p. When you hear the popcorn popping in our tongue tickler raise your note card up high for me to see. Ready, "Ppppppretty Pppppeggy ppppplants ppppumppkins in a pppatch". Let's try it again, but instead I want to you stop and say the /p/ separately from the word. For example: /P/ retty. When I broke the /p/ off in pretty I could hear the popcorn popping. Remember to raise your note card high when you hear the popcorn. "/P/ retty /P/ eggy /p/ lants /p/ umpkins in a /p/ atch. Awesome!


8.     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 notecard high in the air.


9.     Teacher pulls out the chart paper with the words house, play, ran, and hop on it. Teacher says: Now, let's read a few words and see if we hear our popcorn popping in them. We are going to practice stretching the words out like we did earlier to see if we hear the /p/. I will go first: the word is house. Hhhhh-ouse, house" Hmm, I don't think I heard popcorn popping. Let me stretch it out slower. Hhhhhhh-ooouuu-seeee, nope, there is no /p/ in house. Now who wants to try a different word? Pick volunteers to stretch out the words "play, ran, and hop". Have the other students hold their note card up when they hear the student say the /p/ sound.


10.  Give each student the assessment worksheet. The teacher will say the names of the pictures pumpkin, flower, pail, pineapple, spoon on the right as students connect the sheep to the pictures that BEGIN with the sound /p/. They will use crayons to color the pictures that begin with /p/ if time permits. This assessment will show the teacher how each student is phonetically aware of the phoneme /p/.




Assessment Worksheet:



Whole Text:

Veronica Angel, Nan and Pap



Lesson Reference:

Molly Montgomery, Pop Your Popcorn with P www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/montgomeryel.htm


Tongue Tickler:

Tongue Twister For Each Letter



Explanation for forming the letter "p":

Bruce Murray, Making Sight Words, Ronkonkoma, Linus Publications, Inc, page 294.


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