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Emergent Literacy Design

Dripping Water with P

 Emergent Literacy Design

By: Kassi Watts

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 and pencil; chart with "People pledging plenty of pennies.";

drawing paper and crayons; Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper; word cards

with PIG, PLUM, PAW, BEACH, PIN, and PAIL; assessment worksheet word search for words starting with /p/ (URL below)



1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is

learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today

we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /p/. We spell /p/ with letter P. /p/ sounds like dripping water.


2. "Let's pretend we are dripping water from a faucet /p/, /p/, /p/. [Pretend our hand is the water dripping] Notice what your lips are doing? (Point to lips together). When we say /p/, we put our lips together, then we release them and push air out."


3. Let me show you how to find /p/ in the word flips. I am going to say it again, and listen for the dripping water. F-l-i-p-s.

There it was! I felt my lips touch together and push air out! I can hear the dripping water /p/

in flips.


4. "Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. People pledging plenty of pennies. Everybody

say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, emphasize or make stronger the /p/ at the

beginning of the words. People Pledging Plenty of Pennies. Try it again, and

this time break it off the word: /p/ eople /p/ ledging /p/ lenty of /p/ ennies."


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. "We use letter P to spell /p/.

Capital P looks like a measuring cup. Let's write the lowercase letter p. Start at the fence. Draw a line from the fence down to the ditch. Then, touch the top of your line back up at the fence and go around to the sidewalk. I want to see everybody's p. After we check it together, I want you to make nine more just like it."


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /p/ in time or

pig? brick or soup? pick or grab? slow or top? shrimp or berry? Say: Let's see if you can spot

the mouth move /p/ in some words. Drip water if you hear /p/: Please, prune, plum, trees, promptly.


7. Say: "Let's look at a book called Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper. This book is about a cat, squirrel, and duck who love making and eating pumpkin soup. Each animal had their own job to do while making the pumpkin soup, but then, the duck wanted to do the squirrel's job stirring the soup. Squirrel did not like this, and they fought. Duck left the house, and squirrel and cat could not find him, making them very sad. Let's read to find out if Duck finally comes back home to Cat and Squirrel! As you look at the cover, do you see any P’s? As I read this book, listen for the dripping water /p/. Use your hand to show me dripping water when you hear /p/. As you are reading, say, “Did we hear /p/? Which word made the dripping water /p/ sound?”


8. Show PIG and model how to decide if it is pig or dig: The P tells me to drip water, /p/, so this word is p-ig, pig. You try some: PLUM: glum or plum? PAW: paw or raw? BEACH: beach or peach? PIN: fin or pin? PAIL: pail or jail?


9. Distribute the word search page. Students are to find the words with the dripping water /p/ in the word search, and look at the key to see which words they need to find.

To assess Students individually, call students to come to you individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8


Cooper, Helen, and Kathleen McInerney. Pumpkin Soup. New York, N.Y.: Macmillan Audio, 2009. Print.

Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands on Approach for Teaching Decoding: The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650. 

Website for Word Search page: http://www.first-school.ws/t/word-search/alphabet/p.htm

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