P is an easy letter for Kindergarteners to grasp; however, the /p/ sound is extremely difficult for most Kindergarteners to produce correctly.
/p/ is a hard sound for two reasons:
it is voiceless
it is one that is made very similarly to the /b/ sound.
It is important that we teach our students how to appropriately produce the /p/ sound so they will be able to read and write it correctly with fluency.
"Today, we are going to learn about the letter P! What letter are we going to learn about?"
(Students will say, "We are going to learn about the letter P!")
"Great job, everyone! P... P is for pig... pan... purple and pink! So many words start with P! Do we have anyone in here whose name has a P in it?" *Wait time*
(Students will share responses.)
"Yes, you are correct! Nice work! Now, let's learn a little more about this letter P and the sound that it makes in words!"
I Do 1:
I will show the students how to make the /p/ sound. I will show them how my mouth is formed and I will even let them watch me make the /p/ sound in a small, hand-held mirror. I will talk to the students about /p/ being a voiceless sound- "It's only your breath. No noise."
You Do 1:
I will have students use their own hand-held mirror and practice making the sound for /p/. As they do that, I will remind them that "/p/ is made when you press your lips together and push air out. You don't need your teeth or tongue for the /p/ sound... now try it again!"
I Do 2:
I will talk to students about some words in our class that being with p and some popular words that they would all be familiar with.
"Now, we are going to watch a video about the letter P and I want you to listen. When you hear a word that starts with /p/, find the P on the video and point to it! This video is full of words that begin with P, so use a finger and point to the initial P in each word and trace it as you say the word." (This helps with their fine motor skills and practicing formation!)
"Are you ready?"
(Students will say yes)
"Let's practice a few times. If I say a word that begins with /p/, point to me... Here we go:
pig, dig, mom, pop, pan, slick, pick, Tom, Pam... Wow, most of you did a great job! Now, let's watch the video and keep up the good pointing!"
You Do 2:
Students will watch the P video. It is super fun and catchy and students will sing along to the video and enjoy it. After the video, I will ask students to help me make a list of words that begin with /p/ and we will create a reference chart to use throughout the week.
Here are some things I will do throughout the week when we focus on the phonemic awareness and phonics skills for the letter P!
I will give students a poem with many P words in it and have them find all of the P's; then, we will practice reading it together for fluency.
I will have students practice finding P's around the school (in the halls, on bulletin boards, etc).
I will have students practice making P's (while they trace or write it, they will say, /p/, /p/, /p/)
Here is a link to some cool letter formation videos I use on TeachersPayTeachers.
Also, I have attached some great resources I have found from TeachersPayTeachers that reinforce and review P!
On the last day of the P week, we go back over our P video and review our list of P words. We also take about two minutes and hold the small, hand-held mirrors for a partner and make sure they are correctly enunciating the /p/ sound. We go back over how to make the /p/ sound properly as the final activity. Then, I will tell the students that next week will bring us a new focus sound!
EXTRA FUN!!! To add to the summary for the week of P and /p/, I have students participate in Pajama Day! Not only is it fun, but I encourage them to wear things that start with P: pajamas, pearls, princesses, planes, pirates, purples, pinks, polka-dots, etc. As you can see in my picture, I wore pajamas with a pug shirt and pooh slippers!
Also, we usually always do a main writing piece with the letter P.
This year, we wrote about what we would do if we were pirates (since we coincidentally had experience this year dressing as pirates during our P week). Last year, the girls wrote about princesses and the boys wrote about princes. Two years ago, we had a visit from the local petting zoo a couple of weeks earlier, so we wrote about pigs! The writing opportunities are endless!
Finally, we hang our P letter card up on the wall. That way, we can use it for our daily letter-sound practice! From then on, /p/ will be part of our regular practice!
I really like to have students practice their Pp sounds in centers for at least one round. Attached are some activities I like to use in centers the week that we focus on Pp and related sounds. Since Pp is such a tough letter for some kids, I think it is important to provide students with practice.
Also, since Pp is a hard letter to form (because it is similar to q, b and d), I like to have students practice discriminating between P and other letters. Also, this allows students to work on visual phonics skills with fluency.
Finally, if students are still having a rough time discriminating the sound or the formation of Pp, I like to have them work with P and Q explicitly and/or P and B or P and D. If I need to differentiate my centers, I will do that because I think it is important to really focus on the problematic letters when a situation with two letters arises.