Target text
Pop the Popcorn


  • Recognize and produce the /p/ sound in a series of words that all begin with /p/.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • pop
  • popcorn
  • pot
  • person
  • please


  • Popcorn kernels 
  • A pot 
  • Popcorn popper (e.g., air popper) 
  • Paper cup
  • Paper plates
  • Pop Popcorn target text 
  • Book: Popcorn by Frank Asch (optional) 

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will pop real or pretend popcorn while they listen for words that begin with the /p/ sound, such as pop, pan, pot, packet, and paper.

Literacy Activities
Prepare to pop the popcorn

  • Give each child a paper plate and put, plop, pour, or place popcorn kernels on the plate.
  • Ask the children to fold their paper plates and pour the popcorn kernels into a popcorn popper.

Pop popcorn in a popper

  • Push the power button on the popcorn popper and tell the children not to make a peep and listen for the popcorn to pop. 
  • When the popcorn pops, have the children say: “Pop!” 
  • Point out that the popped popcorn is piling up in the popper.
  • Pour the popped popcorn from the “popper” to the pot.
  • Have the children pass the pot of popcorn from place to place and person to person as they say, “Please pass the popcorn.”
  • Let each child pick up a few pieces of popcorn with a paper cup and place them on their plates.
  • Invite the children to pinch and poke a piece of their popped popcorn.

Read Popcorn while the children eat (optional) 

  • Read Popcorn, by Frank Asch, while the children eat their pieces of popcorn.

More Practice
Read an alliterative text to highlight words that begin /p/

  • Display the Pop Popcorn target text large enough for children to easily see.
  • Read the text to the children, pointing to each word in left to right sequence.
  • Read the text again and have the children point to each word in left to right sequence. 
  • Show the children a P or p and ask them to find other words that begin with the /p/ sound as in pop, emphasizing the /p/ sound as you say the words and the children repeat them.

Pretend to be popcorn that pops 

  • With the children think of some words that begin with the /p/ sound, such as pop, pass, pickle, paint, and pie.
  • Have the children crouch on the ground as they pretend to be popcorn kernels in a popper ready to be popped.
  • Tell the children the popcorn is getting ready to pop, and that they are to say a word that starts with /p/ and pop up when you point to them (support as needed).

SEEL Target Texts

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Pop Popcorn

Put the popcorn in the popper. 
Watch the popcorn pop.
Watch the popcorn pop into a pot.
Popcorn pops. Popcorn pops.
It pops, pops, pops.
It pops in a popper.
It pops out into a pot.
Popcorn pops and pops and pops.


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