Hop to a Popcorn Shop


Read and write words that end with -op.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • pop
  • shop
  • stop
  • hop
  • top
  • drop


  • Unpopped popcorn kernels (if using microwave popcorn, save the unpopped kernels after popping)
  • Popcorn box graphic (see below) or plain paper rolled and fastened into a cone to hold popcorn
  • Hop to a Popcorn Shop sentence strip (see below)
  • Shop signs: Popcorn Shop, Mop Shop, Top Shop (see below)
  • Hot air popcorn popper, microwave oven, or a pot to use to pretend to pop popcorn
  • Popped popcorn (if not popping in the activity) or paper to tear and crumple
  • Letter cards (see below)
  • Hop to the Popcorn Shop target text (see below)
  • The -op Popcorn activity within the Hideout: Early Reading app installed on an iPad (optional)

The children will hop to a popcorn shop and read and write words that end in -op, such as pop, stop, hop, and top.

Practice the skill within an activity

Hop with popcorn kernels

  • Before the activity, place the shop signs (Mop Shop, Top Shop, Popcorn Shop) at stations around the room and set up the Popcorn Shop with a pretend or real popcorn popper.
  • Help the children read the written direction to "Hop to a popcorn shop" (see below) and explain that they will hop to find a shop that will pop popcorn.
  • Give the children a popcorn box (or cone) with a few real or pretend popcorn kernels.
  • As the children hop to find a popcorn shop, invite them to chant, "Hop, hop, hop to a popcorn shop!"
  • Comment on how the popcorn kernels hop as the children hop.
  • Tell the children to put a top (a lid or hand) over the popcorn container so the kernels won't hop out.

Stop at different shops

  • Have the children hop to the Top Shop and then to the Mop Shop and stop to read the shop signs (see below).
  • Ask the children if they think the Top Shop or Mop Shop would sell and pop popcorn.
  • When the children can't buy popcorn at a shop, encourage them to hop to the next shop as they chant, "Hop, hop, hop to a popcorn shop!"
  • When the children reach the Popcorn Shop, have them read the sign and exclaim, "Stop! Stop! Stop! We're at the Popcorn Shop!"
  • Have the children plop down in the area that is set up as the Popcorn Shop.

Pop popcorn at the popcorn shop

  • If using a hot air popper, let the children drop a few kernels in the popper before you turn it on and encourage the children to say, "pop!" each time they see popcorn pop.
  • If cooking microwave popcorn, let the children hop and say, "pop!" as they hear the popcorn pop.
  • If pretending to pop popcorn, let the children drop a few kernels into the pot, cover with a lid, jiggle the pot to make the pretend popcorn hop and 'pop,' and invite the children to hop and say, "pop!"
  • Help the children fill their popcorn boxes with real or pretend popcorn until you say "stop!"

Hop back from the popcorn shop and let the popcorn hop   

  • Have the children make a 'top' for the box with their hand or a piece of paper.
  • Comment on how the top will keep the popcorn from hopping out.
  • Let the children hop back to a designated spot.

Apply the skill

Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • Let the children make different -op words by changing either of the consonants or the vowel.  
    • Change the beginning sound(s): hop → pop; top → mop; pop → top
    • Change the vowel sound: top → tip → tap
    • Change the ending sound(s): hop → hog; pop → pot; mop → mom
  • For each of the words the children make, have them state the individual sounds they hear and then blend those sounds back into the word.

Read target words/patterns introduced in the activity

  • Read the target text Hop to the Popcorn Shop (see below) to the children
    • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
    • Read the text with the children again but fade support. 
    • Have the children underline and read the words in the text that end in -op
  • Present the -op activity from the Hideout: Early Reading app on an iPad 
  • Have children use the app to pop virtual popcorn and read and build -op words.

Write about the activity using target words and phrases 

  • Review the -op words used in the activity (i.e., hop, pop, stop, shop, top, mop) and then help the children write the words on paper or on the popcorn graphics (see below).
  • Provide a word wall with the target -op words listed and ask the children to use these words to write about how they got to hop to shops and pop popcorn.
  • Let the children use a word wall to write about their experience using one of the following story starters:  
    • "We got some popcorn kernels in a popcorn box. But the popcorn was not popped. So....." (write about activity)
    •  "Today we got to hop to lots of shops. We got to hop to...." (write about activity)


SEEL At Home

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Read and write words that end with -op.


  • A few loose popcorn kernels in a cup (if making microwave popcorn, save unpopped kernels after popping)
  • Popcorn to make, premade popcorn, or crumpled paper to look like popcorn
  • Hot air popcorn popper or microwave
  • Cooking pot with metal or cardboard lid (if pretending to pop popcorn)
  • Bubble wrap (optional)
  • Letter cards and popcorn graphics (see below)

Activity: Hop to the Popcorn Shop

  • Invite your child to hop to the popcorn shop (kitchen) with you to pop some popcorn.
  • Put a few kernels of popcorn in a cup for your child to carry while he or she hops to the popcorn shop.
  • Help your child drop the popcorn kernels into an unheated hot air popper then start the popper or pop microwave popcorn.
  • If popping real popcorn, have your child watch it pop and say "pop" as the popcorn pops. 
  • If pretending, put kernels in a pot, cover the pot with a lid, and shake the pot while your child hops in place or on bubble wrap and says "pop!"
  • Eat (or pretend to eat) popcorn as you take turns thinking of words that end in -op (e.g., pop, stop, hop).
  • Using letter cards (see below), invite your child to build and read -op words with you and independently.
  • Help your child write the words they created on the popcorn graphics (see below).


new page

Popcorn squares


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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B: Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.D: Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)