Mmmm, Good!
Emergent Literacy Lesson
Shelley Bennett

Rationale:  The students will identify the letter M (upper and lower case) by sight and sound.  They will understand that the written letter M (upper and lower case) represents the sound /m/ and be able to recognize and identify that in words.  In order for children to read they must come to see that spellings map out the phoneme sequences, sounds, or mouth moves in spoken words.  They need to learn the correspondence between each letter and its phoneme.  Learning this correspondence between the letter M and sound /m/ is one step in that direction.

1. alphabetic flash cards
2. primary paper and pencils
3. chalk board
4. word flash cards (dog, can, man, cat, Sam, nap, etc)
5. Mamma, do you love me? by:  Barbara M. Joose
6. M&M candy
7. picture page

1. Explain to students that writing is a special code.  To read the code you must know what sound each letter represents.  Tell the students you are going to review what they already know of the secret code and learn more about the secret code.   Review previous letters and the sound they represent by using letter and picture flash cards.  Students will say the letter and the sound it represent in words as you hold up the flash card.
2. Introduce the letter M and m (upper and lower case) by writing it on the board.  Have the students practice tracing the upper and lower case letters in the air.
3. [Have the students take out primary paper and pencils].  Draw the three lines on the board like the primary paper.  Model writing the upper case letter first then the lower case letter.  Say:  Start at the sidewalk draw straight up to the roof, then draw back down to the sidewalk at a slant. Next go back up to the roof, then back down to the sidewalk.  For the lower case letter, start at the fence line draw straight down to the sidewalk, and then start going straight back up and curve around to the fence line.  Next follow the curve straight back down to the sidewalk again start going straight back up and curve around to the sidewalk and follow it straight down to the sidewalk.  Never pick up your pencil.  Have students practice writing Upper and lower case M in rows on their primary paper.  Observe each student writing to make sure they are writing in correctly.
4. Hold up cards with short words.  For example:  dog, can, man, cat, sam, nap, etc·  Have students let you know whether they recognize the letter M in that word or not by clapping when they see M.  Not all words should contain an M.  Say: Is this word spelled with a letter M?  Students respond by clapping or not clapping.  If it is spelled with an M have students identify which letter is M (first, second, third).
5. Have students "Hunt for M by looking around the classroom and picking out where they see the letter M.  It might be on a poster, on a book, on word wall, etc·  They can raise their hands and share where they found a letter M.
6. Tell the students the letter M stand for a sound or a mouth move.  M stands for the sound /m/.  When you see the letter M in words like we just did it is a signal to say /m/.  When you eat good food, you say mmm.  That is the sound M represents. Model saying /m/ while rubbing your tummy like you eat something good.  Have children practice saying /m/.  Say:  Now move your mouth in a way to make the sound /m/ like I did.  Give each child an M&M candy.  Ask the children what letter is on the candy.  After they respond tell them to place the candy in their mouth and make the /m/ sound.
7.  Write the tongue twister (Molly moves many mountains) on the board.  Read it to the children. Now have the children say it together with you.  Have students say it again but stretching out the /m/ sound at the beginning of every word. Mmmolly mmmoves mmmany mmmountains.  Now have the children say it again but this time separating the sound, /m/.  /m/ olly  /m/ oves   /m/ any    /m/ ountains.
8. Get the story Mamma do you love me?. Show the title and cover.  As class make predictions. Read the story. Discuss the story and what you read.  Reread the story and ask the children to raise their hand every time they hear /m/ in a word.  Make a list of these words on the board.
9. Have students show you if they hear /m/ in words.  Call out a list of words that are foods, such as: ham, cake, grape, apple, ect·  Say:  Say lets see if you can recognize the mouth move /m/ when I call out a list of words. When you hear the /m/ sound in the word rub your tummies.
10. Have each student write a message using invented spellings about their favorite foods that make them say Mmmm.
11. To assess the students understanding, give each student a picture page and ask them to circle the pictures whose names have the /m/ sound.  The picture page can have pictures of a bear, tree, mop, man, house, and milk.  They would circle the man, the mop, and the milk.  The class as a whole would determine what each picture was then individually the students would circle.

Reference:  An AskERIC Lesson Plan: Mamma, do you love me?
Mamma, do you love me? by Barbara M. Joose

Click here to return to Discovery.