Pretend Pennies in the Pail


Associate the letter P (and the lowercase letter p) with the /p/ sound (e.g., pennies, pillow, plink).

Lesson Plan

See More

Target Words:

  • pennies
  • pail
  • pig
  • pillow
  • pizza
  • plink


  • Picture cards
  • Pretend Pennies Store sign
  • Pail
  • Penny graphic for the game Pass the Penny
  • Real penny and paper hopscotch grid (drawn on the ground or made out of paper)

Tell the children they will shop at a Pretend Pennies store as they practice saying the /p/ sound in words such as pass, pretend, and pail.

Literacy Activities
Make P pennies

  • Pass out paper and have the children cut circles to make pennies.
  • Have the children write the letter P on each penny.
  • Have each child hold up a penny and say the /p/ sound while pointing to the letter P on the penny.

Purchase items with pennies

  • Set out the pictures of words (or real items) that start with P.
  • Put up the Pretend Pennies sign and a pail for the pretend pennies.
  • Let the children shop in the store and make purchases by putting the penny in the pail.
  • Have the children name the item they purchase and say the /p/ sound while pointing to the P in the label on the picture.

More Practice (choose from the following)
Play Pass the Penny

  • Have the children sit in a circle and pass a penny around the circle.
  • As children get the penny, have them say a word that starts with the letter P like penny.

Make a Pretend Pennies store catalog

  • Assign each child to draw a picture of a word that starts with P.
  • Have the children label the pictures by writing the word or by writing the letter P.
  • Put the pages together to create a Pretend Pennies catalog.

Hop around the penny

  • Create a hopscotch game by drawing a hopscotch grid on the ground or by placing sheets of paper together.
  • Invite children to fill each square by writing a P.
  • Drop a penny (a real penny may be easier to throw than paper) on the hopscotch.
  • Don’t hop on the square where the penny lands.
  • Have the children say the /p/ sound as they hop on each square.


SEEL At Home

See More

Associate the letter P with the /p/ sound (e.g., pink, party, plum, puppy, plant).


  • Picture cards cut out or real objects that start with P
  • Pail (or a bowl labeled "pail")
  • Pennies

Activity: Pretend Pennies

  • Set up a Pretend Pennies store with pictures of words that start with P or with real objects.
  • Take turns being the customer and the cashier. The customer buys the P items with the pennies by putting the pennies in the cashier's pail, while saying the /p/ sound and pointing to the P in the label on the picture. 
  • While playing, try to use phrases and sentences containing words beginning with the letter P (e.g., Please place a penny in the pail to purchase the pajamas).
  • Read the P picture cards with your child, emphasizing the /p/ sound (e.g., /p/ - /p/ - popsicle).
  • Help your child make a shopping list of P items bought at the store. Encourage invented spelling and give support where necessary.  Emphasize the /p/ sound (e.g., /p/, /p/, popsicle) at the beginning of the words.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.