February 11, 2012

P is for Popcorn! Pop Pop Pop!

Whenever possible I like to make something special for the letter of the week. This week was the letter “P” and I made POPCORN for the students. We had already made popcorn when we investigated our senses. Making popcorn with the students is a wonderful experience because you use all five senses. But as I said I had done it before and did not have much time. I went straight to the connection between letter P and the beginning sound of ‘popcorn’ and ‘pop’.

I made the popcorn at home and brought a big bowl to school. I gave each child a paper plate with the capital letter P written on it. The activity I proposed was to use the popcorn to make the letter P and after that the student could eat the letter P. Picking up one piece of popcorn at a time it is also a great fine motor skill activity.

First I introduced the activity on the big circle talking about the letter sound, what begins with that sound, trace it in the air, when was the last time we did popcorn and why, etc.

I showed them the paper plates with the capital P on it and where to start placing the popcorns as if they were writing it. I said I could not lift the plate because I did not want the popcorn to fall and one student said, “Well you can if you use glue!” Then I challenged him by asking “And why would I bother to do this?” I swear I could see his brain ticking and it took him a few seconds to say, “Because then you can teach better”.  And he looked at me with his smart look.

Then I did it. As this was early in the morning and it is HOT and DRY here the popcorn was firm on the plate in no time.

Now we can lift the plate. We pinned it on the board.

 First trace the letter P with your finger.

 Pick up one popcorn at a time

 Make the letter P with Popcorn

 Now they are ready

 And the best part according to the students was to eat your letter P.

We did the activity in two groups as I have 22 students. The older group who was working with me finished quickly and asked me for more popcorn. “Why should I give you more popcorn?” I asked them. They quickly bombarded me with all sorts of answers like, “Because we are good”, “Because we are hungry”, “Because it is delicious” and “We want more!”

The younger group was working in groups of 3 and 4 at a time with my assistant. They were finishing at different paces. One particular boy who is only 3 but very expressive and active looked at my assistant very seriously after he finished eating his first P and asked, “Can I… can I …can I … make another letter P?”.  How adorably clever is that?

I’m telling you, if the amount of popcorn they ate reflects their learning they surely know how to trace the letter P.


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