Monty the Moose

By Andrew Gracia

Emergent Literacy Design

Rationale:  This lesson will help children identify /m/, the phoneme represented by M.  Students will learn to recognize /m/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (and the letter symbol M, practice finding /m/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /m/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Milo’s monkey makes more money" drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards with MOUTH, MONKEY, MOUSE and MOON; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /m/ (URL below).


Procedures:  1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for-the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we are going to work on spotting the mouth move /m/. We spell /m/ with letter M. M looks like a Mountain, and /m/ sounds like Mmmmm.


2.  Let's pretend to rub our tummy, /m/, /m/, /m/. Notice where your lips are? (Closed touching each other). When we say /m/, we hum and do not release any air.


3. Let me show you how to find /m/ in the word mummy. I am going to stretch mummy out in super slow motion and listen for my humming from rubbing by tummy. Mmm-uu-mmm-y.

There it was! I felt my lips touching. I can feel the humming sound /m/ in mummy.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Miss Mouse munches on marvelous meatballs." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /m/ at the

beginning of the words. "Mmmiss mmmouse mmmunches on mmmarvelous mmmeatballs." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/m/ iss  /m/ ouse /m/ unches /m/ arvelous         /m/ eatballs.


5. Have students take out primary paper and pencil. We use letter M to spell /m/. Capital M looks like a Mountain. Let us write the lowercase letter m.  The letter m is made with a short line down, followed by two humps to the right.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /m/ in Mike or Nike? mind or hand? neck or mouth?  Say: Let us see if you can spot the lips move together /m/ in some words. Rub your tummy and see if you hear /m/: The, mummy,

mommy, bug, flew, Mike, to, the, mountain, yummy.

7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a creature whose name starts with M. Can you guess?" Read page 30, drawing out /m/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /m/. Ask them to make up a silly creature name like Mighty-moose-mouse, or Mice-more-mountain. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work.


8. Show Mom and model how to decide if it is mom or non: The M tells me to rub my tummy, /m/, so this word is mmm-omm, mom. You try some: MIX: fix or mix? MEET: feet or meet? MIND: find or mind?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the spelling of M and m and color the pictures. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.




Lesson plan by Liz Hooper-

Kids zone worksheet for letter M-

Tongue twister M-

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