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Emergent Literacy Design

Popping Popcorn with 'P'

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 applying phoneme awareness with /p/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: primary paper and pencil, copy paper and popcorn, chart with “Polly pops popcorn for Princess Peach". P.D Eastman’s The Alphabet Book (1974) word cards with PAL, POOL, FIX, PINE, DOG, PICK; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /p/


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 popcorn when its popping.

2. Let's make the popping sound popcorn makes, /p/, /p/, /p/. [Pantomime popping with hands] Notice where your lips are? (Touching one another). When we say /p/, we blow air and use our voices between top lip and lower lip /p/

3. Let me show you how to find /p/ in the word copy. I'm going to stretch copy out in super slow motion and listen for the popcorn popping. ccccc-oo-ppp-yyy. Slower: ccccc-oo-ooo-ooo-pppppp-yyyyy  There it was! I felt my lips touch and blow air with my voice! I can feel the popcorn /p/ in copy. 

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Polly Pops Popcorn for Princess Peach." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, pop the /p/ at the beginning of the words.”Polly PoPcorn for Princes Peach." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/p/ olly /p/ ops /p/ opcorn for /p/ rincess /p/each

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter P to spell /p/. We make capital P by drawing a line from the sidewalk all the way to the rooftop, and then we make a loop at the roof top and going around and connecting it to the line at the fence. Let's write the lowercase letter p. Start at the bottom of the ditch and draw a straight line all the way to the fence. Start to make a little loop like in capital b but start at the fence and go all the way around until it connects to the line at the sidewalk. Once I see that you have very pretty P’s I want you to make 5 more of them.

6. Now I am going to give you a piece of paper with the letter P on it and we are going to glue real popcorn on the letter P. (Have students glue popcorn around the outline of the letter P)

7. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /p/ in work or pal? pizza or bread? pretty or ugly? play or sit? princess or frog? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /p/ in some words. Pop your hands if you hear /p/: The, pretty, princess, played, with, ponies, in, the, park

8. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. The Author tells us about a penguins parachuting. Ask children if they can think of other words with /p/. Have the students come up with other words that start with the letter P (if they can come up with other animals and activities have them do this). Have them spell the words on primary paper using invented spelling

9. Show PAL and model how to decide if it is pal or cal: The P tells me the popcorn is popping, /p/, so this word is P-al, pall. You try some: POOL: pool or cool? PINE: pine or mine? PORK: fork or pork? PICK: pick or kick?

10. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with P.

Reference: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Letter-P-Worksheets-Alphabet-Phonics-Worksheets-Letter-of-the-Week-314257