MMMoose, Oh My!



Emergent Literacy  

Amanda Svagdis


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /m/, the phoneme represented by M.  Students will learn to recognize /m/ in spoken words by relating the meaningful representation (moose noise) and the letter symbol M and practice finding /m/ in words.  



*primary paper


*whiteboard with “Missy mooed for more milk” written on it

*note cards with the words MAKE, TAIL, MELLOW, TREE, MAN

*If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff (Harper Collins, 1991) *assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /m/ (URL below)



1.      Language is a hard thing to learn and understand sometimes.  A good way to start learning is to discover what letters mean. Today we are going to practice finding the /m/ sound. We spell /m/ with the letter M.

2.      A moose makes the mmmmmm sound, almost like when a cow mmmoooos.  Can you hear the /m/ sound? When we say /m/ our lips are touching and air is blowing from our throat to make the sound. Try to make the sound with me!

3.     Let me show you how to find /m/ in movie. I’m going to stretch movie out slowly and try to listen for the mmmmoose noise. Mmm-o-v-ie. Now I’m going to try it slower. Mmmmm-oooo-vv-ieee. There is was! I felt my lips touch and air was blowing from our throat. 

4.     Let’s try a tongue twister [on whiteboard]. “Missy mooed for more milk.” Everybody say it together three times. Now let’s say it again, but this time stretch the /m/ sound at the beginning of each word. “Mmmissy mmmooed for mmmore mmmilk.” Try it again and this time, break the /m/ off each word. “/M/issy /m/ooed for /m/ore /m/ilk.”   

5.     [Have students take out primary paper and pencil.] We use the letter M to spell /m/. Let’s practice making capital M together! Start at the rooftop and make a straight line to the sidewalk. Next, put your pencil back at where you started, and make a diagonal line to the fence. Than draw another diagonal line from the fence to the rooftop. You finish by drawing another straight line from the rooftop to the fence.  (Walk around to be sure every student has successfully written capital M.) Now we are going to practice writing lowercase m.  You start at the fence and draw a straight line to the sidewalk. You will then start below where we made our first line and make a hump to the sidewalk. Then, you will make another hump connecting to the first hump down the sidewalk. (Walk around to be sure every student has successfully written the lowercase m.) Now draw one full line of uppercase M’s and one full line of lowercase m’s.  

6.     Call on students to answer and see if they know: Do you hear /m/ in make or lake? Tan or man? Mail or tail? Class or mass? 

7.     Let’s read “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”. This book is about what would happen if you gave a moose a muffin. They would want jam to go with it. Soon you will have no more muffins and you will have to go to the store to get more muffin mix. Will the moose ever stop asking for things? Let’s find out!

8.     Ok, let’s begin reading! Every time you here a /m/, make a short mmmoose noise. Make a list on the board of all the /m/ words they can remember.

9.     Show MAKE and model whether it’s make or lake. Mmmake or llllake. The mmmoose noise tells me that this word is make. You try some: TAIL: mail or tail? MELLOW: yellow or mellow? TREE: me or tree? MAN: fan or man?

10.                        For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students will complete the partial spellings and color the pictures beginning with /m/. 



Auburn University Reading Genie Website; Megan Killen, “Ride Your Motorcycle with M”


Auburn University Reading Genie Website; Laurin Lee. “Mmm Mmm Good with M” 


“If You Give a Moose a Muffin”. Laura Joffe Numeroff (Harper Collins, 1991). 


Assessment worksheet:  

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