"Mmm Mmm Good!"

Emergent Literacy Design

Becky Roberts


Rationale: In order for children to become successful readers they must first understand that letters stand for phonemes and phonemes stand for spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they must recognize phonemes in spoken word contexts. This lesson will help children identify /m/. They will learn to recognize /m/ in spoken words by learning a tongue twister to spot the mouth move /m/. Then they will learn the letter symbol, practice writing it, and find /m/ in words.


Materials: chart with "Mommy makes me muffins every morning"; sentence strips cut into pieces the size of index cards; If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff; coloring paper and crayons



1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is tricky and that we must first understand that that letters stand for something. I will explain that the alphabet is made up of 26 letters and that these letters make different sounds. Letters stand for the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we are going to work on spotting the mouth move /m/. We are going to find words that contain the letter m and learn how to write the letter m.

2. What is your favorite food? My favorite food is pizza and whenever I get done eating pizza I always say, "mmmm...I want some more". Have you eve done that? So let's pretend that right now we are eating our favorite foods.  Let the kids practice the mmmm sound until they get comfortable.  Have the students take the time out and tell you how their mouths are held while they are emulating the sound. Make sure to point out the fact that we pierce are lips together then open them up.

3. Let's try a tongue twister (on chart). "Mommy makes me muffins every morning". Everybody say it three times together. Does everyone hear the mmm in the tongue twister? Let's say it again but slower and let's stretch the /m/ at the beginning of the words. "Mmmommy makes mmme mmmuffins every mmmorning". Try it again and this time break it off the word: /M/ ommy /m/ akes /m/ e /m/ uffins every /m/ orning. 

4. Give the students time to come up with names, places, things, and even actions that they can think of that have the phoneme M sound. Encourage students to think of words like mom or names like Molly. If a student gives an incorrect name or word tell them that, that was a good effort and give them the correct graphemes for that word. This task will also allow you begin some assessments of what your students actually know about the phonemes for M.

5. (Have students take out sentence strip piece and pencil). We can use the letter m to spell /m/. We are going to write both upper case and lower case. I am going to demonstrate how to write the letter on the chart paper first. To make an upper-case letter m you first go straight down, down the slide, up the slide and down straight. Now let's try doing it together. I will walk around helping any students that are having trouble. Next we will write a lower-case m. Start at the fence. You first go down, hump around, hump around. Now let's try doing it together. I will walk around helping any students that are having trouble. Now we will practice writing lower and upper case m's. I'm going to call out either upper or lower and you are going to have to write it.

6. Let me show you how to find /m/ in the word lamp. I'm going to stretch lamp out in supper slow motion and listen for the mmmm sound. Ll-aa-m-p. Ll-ll-aa-aa-mm-mm... I hear it! I found the mmm sound in the word lamp. Now lets talk about some words that have an m and make an mmm sound. I'm going to call out some words and I want you to put up your card on the side with the mmm sound whenever you hear the sound mmmm. If you don't hear the sound, then turn your card on the blank side. Man, mommy, pet, dog, jump, kid, mad, school? 

7. Read the story If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff and discuss the story with the children. Book talk: If you give a moose a muffin, there is no telling what all he is going to want next, because he keeps wanting more. So if you want to find out what all the moose wants and gets, let's read this book and find out. As you read the book, have the children rub their bellies when they hear the /m/ sound.

8. Pass out plain white paper and then have each student draw a picture of something that is mmmm good to them and write a message about it using invented spelling.

9. For assessment, I will go around the room and ask students to name a word that we have not talked about in this lesson that has the mmm sound. I will write these words on the board. I could also hand out a paper that has different pictures on it and let the children circle the pictures that contain the mmm sound.





Hopkins, Ivy. "Mmmmm! Mmmmm! Yumm!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/hopkinsel.html


Numeroff, Laura. If You Give a Moose a Muffin. (1991). New York, NY: Laura

Gering Book. 30.  


Redd, Jennifer. "MMM...Monkeys!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/reddel.html


Sirota, Elaine. "Mmmm...Mommy Made Muffins!"



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