Pretend Pennies in the Pail

Pretend Pennies in the Pail
Target text


Associate the letter P with the /p/ sound as in pennies, pillow, and plink.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

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


  • Picture cards
  • Pretend Penny Store sign
  • Pail
  • Real penny
  • Paper hopscotch grid (drawn on the ground or made out of paper)

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

Literacy Activities
Make pennies

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

Purchase items with pennies

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

More Practice
Play Pass the Penny

  • Have the children sit in a circle and pass a penny around the circle.
  • As each child gets the penny, have him or her say a word that starts with the letter P.

Make a Pretend Penny Store Catalog

  • Assign each child to draw a picture of a word that starts with P.
  • Help the children label their pictures.
  • Put the pages together to create a Pretend Penny Store 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 the children to write the letter P on each square.
  • Drop a penny somewhere on the hopscotch grid.
  • Tell the children to hop on each square except the square where the penny lands.
  • Have the children say the /p/ sound as they hop on each square.
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SEEL At Home


Associate the letter P with the /p/ sound as in pink, party, plum, puppy, and plant.


  • Picture cards or real objects that start with P
  • Pail, or bowl labeled "pail"
  • Pennies

Activity: Pretend Pennies

  • Set up a Pretend Penny Store with picture cards or with real objects that start with P.
  • Take turns being the customer and the cashier.
    • Have the customer buy the P items with the pennies by putting the pennies in the cashier's pail while saying the /p/ sound.
    • Have the cashier use phrases 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 at the beginning of the words (e.g., /p/, /p/, pizza).
  • The activity can be repeated several times.


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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.