Picking Pumpkins for Mr. P

Emergent Literacy Design

Haley Barnes


Rationale:  Recognizing phonemes and distinguishing between letters is a vital part of learning how to read and write. This lesson gives children explicit instruction and modeling on sounding out, writing, and reading the phoneme /p/. After the lesson and activities the students should be able to identify, read, and write the phoneme /p/.


-         Book P is for Pancakes

-         Picture of upper/lower case p

-         Pictures of things that begin with p (pig and pie)

-         Note cards with p words

-         Chart with tongue tickler

-         Primary paper for letter p practice and assessment

-         Worksheet (for writing p words assessment)

-         Worksheet (for identifying p pictures assessment)



1. Teacher says: "To learn the English language, we must learn what each letter stands for and how to say it. The way we move our mouths when we pronounce letters can be tricky but it is important so that the letter sounds correct. Today we will be focusing on the /p/ sound in the letter P."

2. "Lets review how you write the letter p. To begin we start with our pencil at the fence, and we go down into the ditch. Then we come back up and place his chin on the sidewalk. Here is some primary paper for you to use. Practice writing your p's on this page. Good job!"

3. Say: "When you make the /p/ sound you should feel a puff of air come out of your lips. While making the sound your lips are tightly together then pop open. Watch me stretch out the /p/ sound as I say "pig" "ppp-ii-g". Say the word "pig" and "pie". Do you feel the puff of air when you make the /p/ sound? That is the letter p!"

4. "Here is a tongue tickler (On a poster) with the /p/ sound in it. "Pretty Pamela picks out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch". Lets read that together and find where the air pops out of our mouths. Stretch out the /p/ sounds as we read them. Good!"

5. "As we say it again together I want you to go very slowly and separate each part of the words. When you hear the /p/ sound, raise your hand. Awesome!"

6. Say: "Now we are going to read a book about a all of the delicious foods that start with the letter p. Can you think of any before we begin reading? The book is called P is for Pumpkin. Lets read to see if any of the food you thought of is in the story!" (Read story and emphasize the phoneme /p/.)

7. Teacher hangs up chart paper with the words PIG, PLAY, HOP, RAN, HOUSE, and PARTY on it. Says: "Now lets read these words to see if we hear the /p/ sound and feel our puff of air as we say them. We are going to stretch the words out like we did earlier to see if we hear /p/. I will go first. PPP-iiii-gg. PP-i-g. I hear the /p/ sound at the beginning. Say it with me and see if you feel the puff of air. Good! Now lets test the next word." Go through all words.

8. Give each student the assessment worksheet. The teacher will read the names of the pictures: pumpkin, pen, frog, and pig, and the students will color the pictures that BEGIN with the sound /p/. Then the student writes in the missing letter p. This assessment will show the teacher how each student is phonetically aware of the phoneme /p/ and their knowledge of how to construct the letter on their own.




Whole text:

P is for Pancake by Maria Remig


Explanation for forming the letter "p":

Bruce Murray, Making Sight Words, Ronkonkoma, Linus Publications, Inc, page 294.


Tongue Tickler:

Haley Barnes


Lesson Reference:

Meredith Kizer, Popping P's and Popcorn



Assessment Worksheet:



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