“Pp POP!” I say with P





Emergent Literacy Plan

Shannon McDevitt


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 meaningful representation (popping popcorn) 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: Popcorn picture, Primary paper, pencils, tongue tickler chart, plain paper and crayons, It Begins With An A book, word cards with PAT, RAW, PAW, FAIR, PAIR, TIN, PIN, RACK, PACK, SAINT and PAINT, assessment worksheet [URL attached].



1. Say: Learning to read and write is kind of like figuring out a special code. The hardest part to figure out is learning what letters stand for- meaning what sound each letter makes. Today, we are going to work on the sound /p/. We spell /p/ with the letter P. P looks like these three pieces of popcorn popping in the air (demonstrate using the picture). What does popcorn sound like when it is popping? /p/ /p/ /p/, exactly!


2. Let’s pretend like we are waiting for some popcorn and finally we hear it start to pop, /p/, /p/, /p/ (open and close hands while making sound.) Look at where your lips are when you say /p/. Your lips start together, then open and a puff of air comes out. Let’s try again, /p/.


3. Let me show how to find /p/ in the word part. I’m going to stretch part out like I’m saying it in slow motion and listen for the /p/ /p/ popping popcorn sound. Ppp-a-a-art. Slower:  Ppp-a-a-a-r-r-r-t. There it is! I felt my lips start together and when they opened, a puff of air came out. I can hear myself say /p/ in the word part.


4. Let’s try a tongue tickler [displayed.] “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” Everybody say it three times together and make the popping hand motion every time you hear /p/.  Let’s say it again and this time, stretch out the /p/ at the beginning of the words. “Pppeter Pppiper pppicked a pppeck of pppickled pppeppppers.” Try it again and this time break the /p/ off of the word. “/P/eter /P/iper the /p/icked a /p/eck of /p/ickled /p/eppers.


5. [Students will take out primary paper and a pencil]. We use the letter P to spell /p/. Capital P looks like a piece of popcorn popped straight down into the bowl, popped back up in the air and went around the fence. Let’s practice writing the lowercase letter p. Start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. Practice that one more time. Once I check it, I want you to make nine more just like that.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /p/ in pay or sad? Mall or pitch? Pet or day? Mop or barn?  Let’s see if you can spot the mouth movement when I say a list of words. If you hear /p/ pop your hands like popcorn is popping: pat, warm, pitch, swap, tag, horse, pig, gallop.


7. Say: “Let’s look at an alphabet book. It Begins with an A is a book all about different objects that begin with certain letters. [Flip to the P page] who can name some of the objects you see on this page?” Ask the children if they can think of any other objects they know of that begins with /p/. Ask the children to create an illustration that we could add to this page. Ask them to spell the object above the illustration using invented spelling.  Paperclip their drawings to that specific page.


8. Show PAT and model how to decide if it is pat or rat. The P tells me to press my lips together and when I open them, a puff of air comes out.  So this word is ppp-at.  You try some: RAW: raw or paw? PAIR: fair or pair? PIN: pin or tin? RACK: pack or rack? PAINT: saint or paint?


9. For assessment, give the children the worksheet. Students are to complete the words of the objects and color the objects beginning with the letter P. The students will individually practice phonetic cue reading as I call them one by one.


Reference: Bruce Murray Popping Popcorn, mouth movement, letter recognition. Found at:  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/

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


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