Eating Moms Marshmallows with M

By, Brittany Gleason

Emergent Literacy


Rationale: This lesson will help Kindergarten students identify /m/, the phoneme represented by the letter M. Students will learn to recognize /m/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (saying “Mmmmm” that’s good when eating ice cream, I will also do a hand gesture rubbing my tummy) and the letter symbol M.  Students will also practice finding /m/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /m/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Goal: The goal of this lesson is for the students to be able to recognize, pronounce and use the phoneme /m/. This goal will be reached by completing various activities.

Materials: Primary pencil and paper; Poster with “Mom’s magic marshmallows melt in my mouth. Mmmm.” Drawing paper and crayons. If You Give A Moose A Muffin, by, Laura Joffe Numeroff (HarperCollins 1991). Word cards with (mom, magic, melt, mouth, maze and marshmallow). Worksheet identifying pictures with /m/ (URL below).


Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for, the way our mouth moves as we say words. Today we’re going to work on spotting the mouth move /m/. We spell /m/ with letter m. /m/ sounds like what we say when we are eating something we really like.

Let’s pretend we are eating some of mom’s homemade muffins, pick up your muffin and put it in your mouth, after you are finished chewing say “mmmmmm that was good.” Notice that when you said “mmmmm” your teeth and lips were ? When we say /m/ we also use our voice /m/.

Let me show you how to find the /m/ sound in words. I am going to stretch out the word army and listen for that sound we used when we liked mom’s muffins. Aaa-rrr-m-yy. Slower: Aaaa-rrr-mmmmmmm-yy, there it was. The lips completely control /m/ and it is voiced.

Lets try a tongue twister: (on poster). “Mom’s magic marshmallows melt in my mouth. Mmmm.” Everyone say it three times. Now, everyone say it again and this time stretch out the /m/ at the beginning of the words. “Mmmoms’s mmmagic mmmarshmallows mmmelt in mmmy mmmouth. Mmmmmmmmmm.”  Try it again and this time break it off the word: “/M/ om’s /m/ agic /m/ arshmallows /m/ elt in /m/ y /m/ outh. /m/ mmmmm.”

(Have students take out a primary pencil and paper) We use the letter M to spell /m/. Capital M looks like an ice cream cone holder. Take your pencil and start at the side walk and draw a line through the fence up to the rooftop, then continue by making a line tilting from the rooftop back down to the side walk (watch me as I do it, model for the students) now, make another line from the sidewalk through the fence back up to the rooftop (watch me, model for students) finally make your last line from the rooftop through the fence to the sidewalk (yours should look like this, model last line to complete the M). I want to see everyone’s M’s. When I put a smiley face on your M I would like to continue and make 9 more just like that one.

Call on students and tell how they knew: do you hear /m/ in monkey or rabbit? Match or stick? Melt or hard? rabbit or mice? Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /m/ in some words. Use the “mmmmm” sound when you spot a /m/: at, map, apple, mouth, magic, sand, lamp, magic, map, apple, many.

Now I am going to read “If You Give A Moose A Muffin.” Every time you hear the /m/ sound I would like you to run your tummy!

Show the word MAP and model how to decide if it is cap or map. The M tells me to use the “mmmmm” sound so this word is mmmm-a-p. You try some; MASS, mass or sass? MEET: meet or seat? MAT: mat or cat? MEN: men or hen? MALL: mall or tall?

For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with M. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from the earlier step (Mass, Map, Meet, Mat, Men, Mall).




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