Marvelous Muffins!
Emergent Literacy Design

Valerie Lunceford

Rationale:   A child’s ability to recognize letters is a strong predictor of their future reading achievement and success, (Adams 36).  It is important that children make connections between letters and sounds.  Identifying sounds at the beginning of words and in words will help children form a connection between spoken and written language.  In this lesson, children will be able to recognize and write the letter /m/ in spoken and written language.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil; chart with “Magnificent Marvin made many massive muffins”; class set of cards with m on one side and a sad face on the other; blank chart paper; sticky notes; If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff;  M poster with a picture of a person eating ice cream saying “Mmm;” picture worksheet with pictures beginning with the letter M and other words beginning with different letters – children will circle the pictures that begin with the letter M; word list - man, moon, ball, monkey, dog, melon, horse, mask, jump, boy, mouse, stump, muffin, spoon, number.

Procedures: 1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that we will be learning about the letter M and the sound that it makes.  We will
  be detectives to find words that    start with m and that have the letter m in them. 

2.      Ask students:  Have you ever eaten something so good that your mouth said “mmmmm” after you ate?  Hold up a picture of the letter M and ask the children to tell you what letter it is.  Maybe ice cream, or candy, or cake.  What are some things that you like to eat that make you say “mmmmm?”  What is the letter we are looking for?  That’s right, the letter M.  What sound does it make?  Very good “mmmmm.”  We are going to try to find the /m/ sound in some words.  Get ready to be M-m-m-marvelous detectives!

3.      Now we are going to try our tongue twister (on chart).  “Magnificent Marvin made many massive muffins.”  Let’s say that together three times.  This time when you say it, stretch out the /m/ at the beginning of the words.  “Mmmagnificent Mmmarvin mmmade mmmany mmmassive mmmuffins.”  Let’s try it one more time and take the m off the word:  “/m/ agnificent , /m/ arvin      /m/ ade /m/ any /m/ assive /m/ uffins.” 

4.      Everyone take out your primary writing paper and pencil.  We are going to learn how to write m. Start at the fence and go down to the sidewalk, hump around to touch the sidewalk, and hump around down to the sidewalk again.  When you have written m raise your hand and I will come by and check it.  

                   5.      Now I need you to be detectives.  Do you hear /m/ in mop or bucket?  Mask or face?  Man or boy?  Monkey or gorilla?  Pass out the /m/ cards to each student.  Let’s see if you can find m in some words.  If you hear /m/ hold up your card with the /m/ side.  If you do not hear it hold up the frown face side.  Say each word and check everyone’s card.  (man, moon, ball, monkey, dog, melon, horse, mask, jump, boy, mouse, stump, muffin, spoon, number). 

                   6.  Read If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff.  Read it a second time and have the children hold up their m cards each time they hear a word that has the /m/ sound.  Have the children recall the words and record them on the chart tablet.  Next I will ask the students to draw a picture of a moose and write a message about what they would do if a moose came to their house for a muffin using invented spelling.

                   7.  For assessment I will pass out a picture sheet and have the children name the pictures.  Then they will circle the pictures with m in them with a pencil.  I will also evaluate the responses from the children during the lesson and reading of the text as they identify words with the /m/ sound in them.


Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print. Center for the

            Study of Reading Research and Education Center, University of Illinois – 36. 

 Acton, Jessica. Buh and Duh!

 Clifton, Misti. Munching on M.

 Nummeroff, Laura Joffe.  If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Scholastic, New York.

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