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Emergent Literacy Design

Peter puts peanut butter on his popping popcorn

Meredith Gray

Emergent Literacy Lesson

Rationale: It is important for students to have a strong foundation in letter recognition and phonemic awareness in order to become fine readers. 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. Students will also learn how to write the uppercase and lowercase P. 


·      Book “Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut”

·      Primary paper and pencils

·      Word Cards for: POP, TAP, PUT, PLUM, PEN, CAP, FLOP, SLURP, LAP, RAN

·      Put tongue tickler on the board: “Patrick Popper put peanut butter all over his poptart”

·      Worksheet http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/p-begins2.htm

·      Crayons


1. Say: Our written language is like secret code. To learn the code we need to identify what mouth movements make which sounds and what those sounds mean. Today we are going to look at the letter /p/ and what we do to make that sound with our mouths. Everyone say “/p/,” do you hear what sound that makes? When we say /p/ it sounds like popcorn popping in a popcorn machine at a carnival. You want to say the sound quickly just like how popcorn pops really fast, pop! Say /p/ really fast with me, /p/ /p/ /p/. Notice what you’re doing with your mouth, you’re curling your lips around your teeth and then popping them out to make the /p/ sound. Great job everyone!


2. Say: Let’s find the sound /p/ in a word. Listen to the word clip. I’m going to say it slowly now cccc-lllll-iiii-pppppp. Do you hear /p/ in clip? Say it with me now ccccccc-lllllll-iiiiiiiii-pppppp. Can you hear the popcorn popping in clip? Show me what your mouth looks like when you make the /p/ sound in zclip. (Look around the room and assess students’ mouth shapes) I hear it when I push my lips together and let the air pop out.


3. Say: Let’s say a tongue tickler together to practice our /p/ sound. (Put the tongue tickler on the board, white board, chalkboard, or smart board). I will say the tongue tickler first, “Patrick Popper put peanut butter all over his poptart.” Now let’s say it together, “Patrick Popper put peanut butter all over his poptart.” Awesome job! This time I want you to make your hand into a fist and then pump your fist in the air when you hear the /p/ sound in the tongue tickler. We’re going to say it very slowly for the first time. “Patrick Popper put peanut butter all over his poptart” (modeling how to pump your fist in the air when you hear the /p/ sound).


4. Have students take out primary paper and a pencil

Say: Now we’re going to practice writing the letter P. On your paper I want you to start at the roof, go down, pick your pencil up at the sidewalk then go back up to the roof and take it around down to the fence. That’s a capital P! I want you to write 8 P’s and then come show me your paper. If I put a pig sticker on your paper I want you to write 8 more P’s for me.


5. Say: Now we’re going to write the lowercase letter P. To do that you’re going to start at the fence, go straight down into the ditch, come up and put his chin on the sidewalk. That’s a lowercase p! I want you to write 8 lower case p’s and then come show me your paper. If I put a pig sticker on your paper I want you to write 8 more p’s for me.


6. Ask questions so the students can start practicing identifying the phoneme in spoken words.

Do you hear /p/ in drop or fall?

Do you hear /p/ in sip or taste?

Do you hear /p/ in full or puppy?

Do you hear /p/ in perfect or wrong?

Do you hear /p/ in plus or rust?


7. Say: Now we are going to read a book that will help us identify more popping /p/ sounds. I want you to hold up your fists and I read pump your fist in the air every time you hear the /p/ sound. Just like we did with the tongue tickler. Booktalk The book we are going to read is called, Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut. This book is about a spoiled princess. An old lady comes to her palace and casts a terrible spell on her that made a peanut grow from her nose. Lets read to find out if the princess can get rid of the peanut on her nose.

Observe whether students are making the pumping action when they hear the /p/ sound


8. Say: Now I am going to show you some cards, together we are going to figure out which word the card says.

PUT: Does this put or cut? We know it says pot because it has the letter “P” and P says /p/ so we say p-p-p-put

PEN: Does this say pen or men? The first letter is “P” and P says what? P says /p/ so this says p-p-p-pen

POP: Does this say pop or tot? We see the letter “P” and P says /p/ so we say p-o-p!


9. Distribute worksheet for assessment, have the students color the pictures that start with the letter P and have them write the letter P in the word. While students are working on their worksheets call them up on by one to do some more word cards to observe students’ understanding and assess which students will need further instruction.

·      Other word cards to use: TAP, PLUM, CAP, FLOP, SLURP, LAP, RAN



·      Atwood, Margaret. Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut. Kovalski, Aryann illus. Workman Publishing Company, c 1995. 32 pp.

·      Adapted from Belle Brennan’s Pop Pop Pop the Popcorn with the letter P http://isabellebrennan.wixsite.com/keylessonsinreading/emergent-literacy

·      Popping Popcorn with Pat the Pig by Kristin Peacock http://kristinp08.wixsite.com/lessondesigns/emergent-literacy

·      Murray, B.A. (2012).  Making Sight Words:  Teaching Word Recognition from Phoneme Awareness to Fluency.  Ronkonkoma NY: Linus. P 294.

·      Kid zone

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