Move the M My Way


Emergent Literacy

Dorsey Tippett


Rational:  The twon best predictors of beginning readers in their ability to recognize pohonemes and names of letters (Adams).  In  order for children ro tread efficiently it is important for them to be aware of the letter-to-sound relationship.  This lesson will help children identify /m/.  The phoneme /m/ and letter m will be taught along with identifying /m/ in words.


Materials:  Primary paper and pencil.  Poster board with “My mom makes me macaroni.”; drawing paper and crayons;  I Met a Man;  picture worksheet for assessment with horse, money, sun, shoes, bag, cup, mice, bus, purse, and guitar.     



      1)I will start by asking the children, “Do you know that our mouth moves different ways when we say words?”  The hard part is being able to see all the different  ways our mouth moves.  So, I am going to help you understand the way our mouth moves when we say /m/.

2)      Ask the students:  Have you ever heard someone say /m/ after they tasted good food?  Let’s do this together, say /m/.  This time I want you to rub your stomach, like the food was good and say /m/.  Great job!  Every time we come across a word and it has the /m/ sound I want to do the hand motion each time. (remember to stretch out the /m/)

3)      Let’s try a tongue twister [off the poster board].  “My mom makes me macaroni.”  I want everyone to say it with me.  Good!  Now, say it again and this time remember to do the hand motion and stretch out the /m/ at the beginning of the words.  “Mmmy mmmom mmmakes mmme mmmacoroni.”  We are going to say the sentence one more time and I want you to break the /m/ off the beginning of the word.  For example, /m/ ike.  Alright, now let’s do it again.  “/M/ y /m/ om
/m/ akes  /m/ e /m/ acaroni.” 

4)      Now get the students to get out their primary paper and pencil.  We can use the letter m  to spell /m/.  I want us to write this together.  Go down, hump around, hump around.  Can I see everyone try that?  Raise your hand when you are done and I will check it.  After I check it I want you to write 8 more just like it.  Now you will know how to write the letter m,  when you hear the /m/ in a word.

5)      Ask the students questions about which words have the /m/ in spoken words.  I am going to read you two words and I want you to tell me which words have the /m/ sound in it.  For exapmle, do you hear /m/ in cat or mice?  Stay  or move? Man or lady? Yours or mine?  On the board I will have the children tell me a name of some animals, such as elephant, tiger, dog, lizard, or horse.  The I will ask the students to name something the animal does that has the same sound they hear at the beginning of the of the animals name.  Such as elegant elephant, tempting tiger, little lizard.  Then I will ask them to think of how the animals do what they do using the same beginning sound of the animal:  lay lazily, or eat elegant elephant.  Then the students can put these words together to make one, two, three poetry.  For example, Little lizard lay lazily. 

6)      Read I Met a Man.  Each time the children hear /m/ have them rub their stomach.  List the words they mention.  Then talk about the book and have them draw something from it.  After they have drawn something have them use invented spelling to explain what they drew.  Display their work.

7)      For assessment, I will pass out pictures that have the students identify the ones that have the  /m/ sound.


Reference:  Adams, Marilyn.  Beginnning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print- A Summary.  Champaign:  Center for the Study of Reading Research and Education Center, 1990


Ciardi, John.  1961.  I Met a Man.  Houghton Muffin. 


Eldredge, Lloyd J.  Teach Decoding:  Why and How.  Columbus.  Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.  2005.  179-178.
First-School. Alphabet Printable Materials.

Keith, Cassie.  Hello H.

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