Mmmmm Mmmmm Good


Emergent Literacy

Laura Beth Anderson 

Rationale: The alphabetic principle, stating each speech sound or phoneme of a language should have its own distinct graphic orientation, is vital for children to learn to read and spell words. For students to develop this they must be able to recognize phonemes in spoken words. This lesson will concentrate on the correspondence m = /m/.  Most often the /m/ sound in initial, medial, and final positions is made by the consonant m.  The use of the consonant m is very consistent because it only makes one sound.  Students will learn to decipher /m/ in spoken words through a meaningful representation, letter recognition, and practice finding /m/ in words.


Materials: m word picture cards and non-m word picture cards (hat, map, milk tea, family sister, turkey, ham); Primary paper and pencil; Poster with “My mom gave me a milkshake to munch on all morning!”; picture page with ham, mother, number, hat, monkey, turkey, goat, and map; Barbara M. Joose. Mama, do you love me?. Chronicle Books LLC. 1991; dry erase board and marker



1. Introduce the alphabet by telling students it is a code we use to read. However it is very tricky because we must learn what letters stand for (i.e. the mouth moves we make when we say the words). Today we are going to learn to make and spot the mouth move /m/.  It is especially tricky because it is not only at the beginning of words…it might also be hiding in the middle or at the end. Once you learn the mouth move /m/ you will be able to find it no matter where it is hiding.

2. “Have you ever eaten your favorite food and told your friends it was /m/ /m/ good? Well, that is the exact mouth move we are looking for in the words we see today.  Let’s all pretend we just ate our favorite food, and rub our tummies as we say it is /m/ /m/ good!

3. Now let’s try a tongue twister (poster). “My mom gave me a milkshake to munch on all morning!” Let’s all say it three times together. This time when you say it I want you to stretch out the /m/ at the beginning of the words. “Mmmy mmmom gave mmme a mmmilkshake to mmmunch on all mmmorning!” This time I want you to break the /m/ sound off of the words. “/m/ y /m/ om gave /m/ e  a /m/ ilkshake to /m/ unch on all /m/orning!”

4. Now let’s all get out primary paper and a pencil. We are going to use the lowercase letter m to spell /m/. Let’s write it. Start at the fence and draw down to the sidewalk, then go straight back up and curve around the fence line. Next, follow the curve back to the sidewalk, once there again start going straight back up towards the fence and curve it again back down to the sidewalk. Remember to never pick up your pencil. Have students practice writing lowercase m on their primary paper. Observe each student to make sure they are writing the lowercase m correctly; if so have them make a total of 10 lowercase m.  When you see the letter m in a word, that is the signal to say /m/.

5. Now let me show you how to find /m/ which sometimes can hide in the middle or at the end of words.  Let’s find /m/ in the word number. I’m going to stretch number out in super slow motion and you listen for the /m/.  N-n-n-u-m-b-b-er-er. N-n-u-m-m-m…there it is! I do hear /m/ in number. What about at the end of words. Let’s find /m/ in the word ham.  I’m going to stretch ham out in super slow motion and you listen for the /m/.  H-h-h-a-a-m-m. H-h-a-m-m-m…there it is! All the way at the end.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Show two cards; do you hear /m/ in hat or map? Milk or tea? Family or sister? Turkey or ham?, etc.

7. Read Mamma, do you love me? Have students rub their tummies when they hear the /m/ sound at the beginning, middle, or end of words. List their words on the board.

8. For assessment, distribute the picture page and help students name each picture. Have each student circle the pictures with contain /m/ anywhere in the word.



Barbara M. Joose. Mama, do you love me?. Chronicle Books LLC. 1991

Reading Lesson Plan – Lesson 9 – consonant m.       

“Yu-mmm-y” by Tiffany Taylor.

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