Moving Mountains

Emergent Literacy

By: Alli Smalley

Rationale: The goal is to focus on the individual sounds in spoken words. The English alphabet consists of 26 letters, but there are well over 26 sounds so each sound is represented in print by a single letter or group of letters. We are going to view consonant phonemes today. We will focus on the phoneme M; /m/


Pat’s jam; List of consonant words; Meaningful names and hand gestures; pencil; paper;  Worksheet for each student with the pictures of a muffin, ball, money, cat, monkey, shoe, moon, mouse, tiger, and man


Step 1:Introduce consonant sounds; Today we are going to investigate the letter M, and we will learn that M says /m/.  We will learn what our mouth does to say /m/, and we will learn how to find that sound in words.

Step 2:Devise meaningful names to display the grapheme. Example: Letter Z is for /z/, like the sound a buzzing bee makes. Letter M is for /m/. Mmmmm and rub your tummy as the gesture. It is also easy to remember that M makes the thinking sound because M looks like a mountain and we do our best thinking in places where we have peace and quiet, like up on a mountain. I have a picture of an M-shaped mountain and I'm going to put the picture of the boy thinking on top of it, like he is thinking on top of the mountain. Let's all close our eyes and pretend to go to our quiet place up on the mountain to think. "mmmmmmm."

Step 3:Tongue Twister. Repeat after me. My Mother Makes Me Muffins in the Morning. Say it again 2 more times together. This time when we say it, let's listen for the thinking /m/ sound. When we hear it, we'll make the gesture like the boy in the picture and stretch it out. Now let's try breaking the /m/ sound off the word like this: /m/y  /m/other  /m/akes   /m/e   /m/ uffins  in the /m/orning. Good job! Example: Many mice make music and stretch it out: Mmmany mmmice mmmake mmmusic.

Step 4:Practice applying phoneme awareness in phonetic cue reading. We will decode the first letters of rhyming words. We use M to write the sound /m/. As we discussed, M looks like a mountain. Capital M is a big mountain, and lower-case M is a small mountain. Let's practice writing this letter, but first watch me write it on the board. Lower-case m starts at fence, goes down the sidewalk, bounces back up to the fence, around, and down to the sidewalk again to make one hump, and then does the same thing again to make a second hump (bounces back up to the fence, around, and down to the sidewalk.)  Now you try a lower-case m.  I will come check your M, and once I have put a smiley face beside it, I want you to write 5 more just like it!


Step 5:"Now that we know how to look for the mountain shape in written words and listen for the thinking sound in spoken words, I want you to help me identify some words. I'll show you a word and you tell me what word it is. Remember: If we see the mountain, we know to make the /m/ sound like we are thinking on the mountain. Raise your hand if you know the answer. Is this Map or Sap?               Is this Tint or Mint?              Is this Rake or Make?   


Assessment: We are now going to read Pat’s Jam and focus on the short a sound. We will also pay close attention to the various words with important consonant and vowel sounds. I will then give each student a worksheet. The worksheet will have 10 pictures on it {muffin, ball, money, cat, monkey, shoe, moon, mouse, tiger, and man}. They will be asked to color the 6 pictures that begin with the letter M. Once they have colored them, they will cut them out and glue them to their mountain


Roger Sensenbaugh; Phonemic Awareness: An Important Early Step in Learning To Read;

Mountain Picture:

Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie.


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