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Dripping Water with P

Dripping Water with P

loop animated GIF

An Emergent Literacy Guide

By: JaimePreston


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 (dripping water) 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, pencil, chart with tongue tickler listed, worksheet for assessment (URL below), book that focuses on /p/ (Hop On Pop), word cards: PUT, SINK, DRIP, CUT, PORK, and POUR.


1.    The meaning of letters is the sound we make when we say them. Our mouths move in particular ways when we say letter sounds. Today, we are going to practice /p/, which say the letter P. /p/ sounds like water dripping from the faucet of a sink, and looks like it too when if you turn it on it’s side.

2.    Let’s make the sound water makes when it drips from the sink, /p/, /p/, /p/. Notice the way your mouth moves. Where are your lips? (*press lips together*) When we say /p/ we put our lips together and blow air as we push our lips apart.

3.    Let me show you how to find /p/ in the word ‘grape’. I’m going to stretch out grape really slowly, so listen for the dripping sink water. G-r-ape. Slower: GG-rrr-a-ppp-e. Did you hear the water? I did. I felt my lips touch together and push apart. I can feel and hear the water /p/ in grape.

4.    Let’s say a tongue tickler using /p/. “Peter Piper Picked Pickled Peppers.” Everyone say it three times. Now, say it again, but this time stretch out the /p/ at the beginning of each word. PPPeter PPPiper PPPicked PPPickled PPPeppers. Let’s try it one more time, but I want us to break off the p from each word this time: /p/eter /p/iper /p/icked /p/ickled /p/eppers.

5.    [Instruct students to take out primary paper and pencil.] We use the letter P to spell /p/. Capital P and lowercase p look really similar but the capital P is taller. Let’s write the lowercase p. Start at the fence and make a straight line to the middle of the ditch. Now, go back up to the fence and make a backwards c that connect to the stick you just drew. Start your backwards c at the fence and finish it at the sidewalk. [While you say these things, model a p on the board.] I want to see everyone’s p. After I put a star on your paper, I want you to write nine more just like it.

6.    Call on students to answer and tell how they know the answers to the following questions: Do you hear /p/ in work or play? Punch or kick? Choose or pick? Marker or pen? Paper or notebook? Say: Let’s see if you can see my mouth make the /p/ shape when I say this sentence. Flick your hand like your shaking water off when you hear /p/: The, pretty, princess, rode, her, horse, past, the, prince’s, palace.

7.    Let’s read a famous book that helps us with out /p/ sound. Hop On Pop.

Booktalk: In this book, many different characters get into silly things with friends and family. Let’s read to see what activities they take part in.

Read page 52 to show some things that you can do that start with the letter P. After reading the page, ask the students to draw something that they can do that starts with P. For instance, students could draw some peaking, or parking, or even poking. Display their finished work.

8.    Show PUT and model how to decide if it is put or hut: The P tells me to drip water from the sink, /p/, so this word it ppp-u-t, put. You try: PINK: sink or pink? DRIP: drip or dry? PUT: rut or put? PORK: pork of fork? POUR: pour or door?

9.    For assessment, hand out the worksheet. Students are to color in the images that begin with /p/ and practice writing the P and p at the bottom of the worksheet. Call students individually to read phonetic cue words from step #8.



Hanks, Heidi (2010). Improving Articulation: How to Teach the P Sound. http://mommyspeechtherapy.com/?p=340


Assessment Worksheet: letterbuddies.com/initial-sounds-worksheet-p/


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