Emergent Literacy Design: Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Good.

                                                                by Caroline Conner

Rationale:  In order for children to learn how to read and write successfully they need to learn all the different phoneme sounds.  Children have to distinguish and learn all the twenty-six letters of the alphabet and the vocal gestures that correspond with them.  The students will learn that the letter m stands for /m/.  During this lesson, students will practice identifying /m/ orally and the letter m in print. Together we will read a book aloud, and then talk about the different words that made the “mmm"sound. The students will be given lots of practice to make sure they fully comprehend the sound and the letter.  They will then be assessed individually to make sure that they fully understand the concept.


-Primary paper and pencils

-The saying, "Murphy makes muffins most Monday's"written on chart paper with a picture of a muffin.

-Worksheets with pictures of items (dog, cat, muffin, milk, eggs, mat, pig, log)

-The book: If you give a Moose a Muffin



1.    Explain to the students that the code of our written language is very tricky and can be difficult to learn, but we will have fun learning the different sounds that letters make! “Today, we will learn how to make the sound that represents the letter m.  We will also learn how to write upper and lower case m.  After we have lots of practice with this, then we will read a book together and see if we can find any words that have the “mmmm"sound in them.”

2.    Ask students: “Have you ever tasted something so good that it made you rub your belly and say “mmmm?"I love chocolate and every time I eat some I always say, 'mmm.' Let's practice making the /m/ sound by pretending we are eating our favorite foods. Everyone say “mmmm,"while rubbing our bellies.  Can anyone tell me what letter the 'mmm' sound represents? M, that's right!”

3.    (Take out chart with tongue twister) “Murphy makes muffins most Mondays."Now everyone say it together two times. This time we will read it aloud, and put an emphasis on the /m/. Say it like this, “Mmmurphy mmmakes mmmuffins mmmost mmmondays."Now lets try it again and this time we will break the /m/ off from the rest of the words. “/m/urphy /m/akes /m/uffins /m/ost /m/ondays.”

4.    (Have students take out primary paper and pencil): Now let's practice writing the letter m. I am going to show you how to write both uppercase and lowercase m. I will demonstrate how to write the letter on the chart paper first. Watch me very closely as I write my uppercase M; look where I am starting and where I am ending.  Now you try writing it on your own lined paper.  I will walk around to make sure that everyone is writing his or her M correctly.  Now I will show you how to write a lower-case m, pay very careful attention because you are going to practice it on your own.  Now you try writing it!

5.    “I'm going to read some words aloud and I want you to tell me if you hear the 'mmm' sound in the word."I will model one for you first. Cat; I don't think I hear the 'mmm' sound in cat? Now let's try together. What about mat? Do we hear the 'mmm' sound in mat? Yes, that's right we do! Fair; do you hear the 'mmm' sound in fair? No, you are right. Milk; do you hear the 'mmm' sound in milk? Yes, your right we do! Rain; do you hear the 'mmm' sound in rain? No, that's right! Muffin; do you hear the 'mmm' sound in muffin? Yes, that's right! You're doing so great!

6.    Introduce the book If you give a Moose a Muffin. Have you ever seen a moose? What do you think would happen if you gave a Moose a muffin? Have you ever seen a moose eat a muffin? Let's read to find out! Read the book and have a discussion about the 'mmm' sound.  Read the story again and this time have the students rub their bellies whenever they hear the 'mmm' sound. Write the words on the chart with corresponding pictures to go along.  Then together as a group read the words that represent the pictures.

7.    For assessment, give each student a sheet with different pictures of different items on them (Example: pig, mat, monkey, dog, rat, man, moon, horse, moose). Have class identify and name each picture, and then have them circle all the words that begin with the 'mmm' sound.


- Numeroff, Laura. If you give a Moose a Muffin. Harper Collins. 1991


Return to Doorways Index