Wacky Wís and Marvelous Mís

Rationale:  Some students can get Wís and Mís confused.  It is essential for students to be able to recognize the letters correctly.  This lesson will help children know the difference between W and M by practice and direct instruction.

Materials:  The letters w, m, e, a, y; Elkonin boxes, a writing tablet and pencils; chalkboard and chalk; Dr. Seussís ABC book.

Procedures:
1. Explain what we will be working on today.  Introduce the letters to the students.  Sometimes we can get confused when writing with the letters w and m.  But I know that we can do it!
2. Letís review the line on the paper.  The one at the top that is solid we call the sky.  The one in the middle that is dotted is the fence.  The one at the bottom that is solid is the ground.
3. I am going to show you how to write the letters.  Watch me as I write the letters on the board.  All eyes need to be up here.  For the capital letter W start at the sky, go down the slide to the ground then up to the fence and back down to the ground and back to the sky.  Now for your chance.  Get out your paper and pencils and try with me.  Students practice.  As they practice, Iíll walk around and help where needed.  Next we will do the same procedure except with the capital letter M.  Start at the ground and go to the sky then go down the slide back to the ground and back to the sky and back down the slide to the ground.  I know that is confusing, but lets practice and see how we do.
4. Letís think of as many word that begin with the letter W and Iíll write them on the board.  Do the same with the letter M.  When have about 6 of each letter, Iím going to point to a letter and I want you to tell me which letter it is M or W.  Correct them when incorrect.
5. Get out Elkonin boxes (2) and practice spelling these words.  The first word is me. Letís see who got it right.  Great!  Next word is we.  Whoís finished?  Everyone did great!  We are going to try some harder words but you will need one more box.  The first word is way.  Letís see who got it first.  Great job!  Next word is may.  All right, who was first?  Can anyone think of a sentence using any of these words.  Let them tell me and Iíll write on the board.
6. Model how to make the letterís W and M with fingers.  Model: take one hand and hold out thumb and forefinger and take the other hand and do the same.  Put the two thumbs together and you have the letter W.  Just turn your hands upside down and have the letter M.
7. Read the section of Dr. Seusseís book with the letterís M and W and have them to point out words using both of the letters.
8. Have a list of words and ask them to circle the Wís and Mís in the words.  They will turn in the paper and Iíll determine where more help is needed.

Reference: LesniakA, T. and Murray, B. (1998).  The Letterbox Lesson. Auburn University: The Reading Teacher (pp. 1-4).

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Jaclyn Mitchell