Mmm Mmm Good!

Melanie Starr
Emergent Literacy

Rationale:  Students need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings  map out the phonemes in spoken words in order for them to learn to read and spell words.  Students must recognize phonemes before they can match letters to phonemes.  This lesson will help students identify /m/.  They will learn to recognize /m/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /m/ in spoken words.

Materials: chart paper with "Mary makes marvelous muffins for my mother in the month of May."; class set of cards with a picture of a girl's face smiling and the other side with a picture of a girl's face frowning (should match the "Molly books"); class set of picture page (directions should tell the student to circle the food items that contain /m/; pictures should be of a ham, watermelon, cherries, ice cream cone, lemon, mushroom, shrimp, pineapple, tomatoes, onion, cake, and a hamburger); class set of "Molly books" (books made out of construction paper into a girl's face, the mouth opens up and primary paper is placed there for the students to write); markers; red yarn; primary paper; pencil; glue; Book called: Can a Chick Swim?

1. "Today we're going to learn how to pick out the sound /m/ in words.  This sound is represented by the letter 'M.'  Notice how your lips come together when you make this sound (teacher models this for the students to notice).  Now you try."  (Students say /m/).
2. "When you eat something that tastes really, really good, what is a noise you can make to show the cook that you really like it?  (Children will made suggestions, but stop when someone says "Mmm").  Good!  That is the sound we will be making today.  Once again, notice how your lips come together and do not move when you say /m/."
3. "Let's try a tongue twister (pull out chart paper with tongue twister on it).  Teacher reads following along each word with her finger:  'Mary makes marvelous muffins for my mother in the month of May.'  Let's all say it together."  Class reads together as teacher follows along with her finger.  "Mary makes marvelous muffins for my mother in the month of May."  "Now let's say it, but let's stretch out /m/ every time we hear it."  As a class: "Mmmary mmmakes mmmarvelous mmmuffins for mmmy mmmother in the mmmonth of Mmmay."  "Notice how many words have /m/ in them.  Now let's say it again, but let's separate the /m/ in the words we hear it."  As a class: "M-ary m-akes m-arvelous m-uffins for m-my m-other in the m-onth of M-ay."
4. Teacher passes out primary paper and pencils to each student.  "We can use the letter m to spell /m/.  (Teacher models these steps as she talks it through).  "First, draw a straight line connecting the fence to the sidewalk.  Then we are going to make two humps like a camel to the fence.  Start at the bottom of the line we drew to the sidewalk and make the first hump, being sure to touch the fence.  Then bring it back down to the sidewalk and start another hump, being sure to touch the fence.  Then compelete the letter m by bringing the last hump down to the sidewalk.  I want you to practice writing the letter m by yourself now, and try not to lift yoru pencil.  When you see the letter m in a word you know that it sounds like /m/."
5. Teacher passes out the class set of cards with a smiley girl on one side and a frowny girl on the other side.  "This is Molly that each of you are getting.  She only likes food that has the /m/ sound in it.  I'm going to give you some food words and if you think Molly would like them, hold up her smiley face.  But if you think Molly would not like it, hold up her frowny face.  For example, if I said milk, I would hold up her smiley face (teacher models) because it has /m/ at the beginning, but if I said water, I would hold up her frowny face (teacher models) because /m/ is not in water.  Here we go:  mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickles, hamburger, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, lemonade, Kool-Aid (and others that come to mind).  Stop and talk about any words that the students have a hard time hearing, or not hearing, /m/.  You may want to talk about how onions has /n/ and not /m/ and that our lips do not come together for /n/, but they do for /m/.
6. Have the students write a story about Molly and the different types of food she likes to eat (with /m/ in the words).  The students can build "Molly books" as described above in materials.
7. Teacher reads aloud the book, Can a Duck Swim and has the students say /m/ every time they hear /m/ in a word.  Afterwards, the class can
    have a discussion on the words they have chosen from the story to see if they agree or disagree that they all have /m/ in them.
8. For assessment, distribute the picture page and help students identify each picture.  Ask the students to circle the pictures that have /m/
    in them.

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