Mountain Climbing
Emergent Literacy Lesson

Brice Jackson

Goal:
- To recognize the letter m from the word "mountain."
- The activity we will use will be singing "She Be Going up the Mountain, When She Comes."  We will sing through the song (up and then down) several times, so that each child can have a turn.  During a childâs turn they carry a large foot high cut out of the letter m with them up the mountain (around the classroom, to the front).  Then another child is called on to carry it back down the mountain (carry it to the back of the room.  This will familiarize the children with the letter m found in the word "mountain."

Materials:
- A capital letter m cut out (foot high)
- Picture of a mountain top (a picture with two mountain tops would be even better
- Sheets of Primary Paper

Procedure:

1. This lesson is important because it helps children familiarize themselves with the letter m from the word mountain. Weâve been talking about different letters.  Well today we are going to climb mountains.  But we have to know what one looks like.  Does anyone know?  Well look here I have a map of a mountain.  Wow, look how tall it is.  Does it remind you of a certain letter?  See how it is pointy in these two places.  But at three other places, the mountain sinks down.  This makes the shape of an m.

2. Review the /m/ sound.  Who remembers the /m/ sound?  We make it the /m/ sound when we had just eaten something and, it is delicious!  It is /m/ /m/ good.  Every body practice the /m/ good sound.  Now, we know the /m/ sound.  Do you here the /m/ sound in mountain.  Mountain starts with the letter m for /m/.  The letter looks like this.  Hold up the big m.  Do you here /m/ in mmmm- ountain.  Do you hear the /m/?  Very good.

3. Model the new concept.  When I write the word mountain (write it on the dry erase board as you say it), I notice that the m looks like a mountain.  I see the mountain from top to bottom, so I draw a line from the fence strait down.  Now we up the mountain (draw to the fence) and down the mountain (to the line) and up the mountain and down the mountain.  Does that look like an m.  Good.

4. Simple Practice.  Now you try Iâm going to pass out a sheet of paper (primary paper).  Now letâs try making our m together.  We are going to go strait down first.  Now we go up the mountain and down the mountain and up the mountain and down the mountain.  Let me see your mâs.  Very good.  Letâs sing a song. Letâs sing "Sheâll be Going Up the Mountain."  Each time we sing it through, every one is going to write an m down on their sheet of paper.  Also I will pick one of you to hold the m in your hands and march up the mountain (The front of the classroom is the mountain top). When you get up there turn around so that we can see the m, and then march back down to your seat.

5. Shared Reading.  I would do a shared reading with one of these two books to finish the lesson (All the Way to Lhasa -A Tale from Tibet by Barbara Helen Berger or Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Felder and Joseph Egon).  Now when I read I will hold up the m  every time the word "mountain" appears that I would hold up the m, and we would say it together.

6. Assessment.  Have them all sit down.  Take up the m and erase the board.  Then pass out sheets of paper (with big lines).  Now that we have talked about the /m/ sound.  Look at this picture (two mountains).  What else have we talked about?  Weâve talked about mountains.  You all came up and wrote the letter m on the board.  So now flip your paper over and write the letter m on the back all by yourself.

Reference:

Shelley Bennett: Mmmm, Good!      http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/bennettel.html