M&M Mountain
Emergent Literacy Design


Meagan Spradlin


Rationale:  “Learning to recognize and discriminate between the letters of the alphabet is an important step toward reading.”  (Adams 64).  This lesson will help children identify and write capital M and lowercase m.  They will learn to recognize the capital M and lowercase m by learning a representation, letter symbols, and practice writing.


          Chalkboard and chalk
          Primary paper and pencil (for each child)
          Construction paper (for each child)
         Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman (Random House, Inc.)


  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that in order to read our favorite books we must first learn the letters of the alphabet and how to write these letters.  Today we’re going to work on recognizing and writing the letter M.  We are going to do a special art activity to help us learn the letter M.  The letter M makes the /m/ sound.
  2. Ask the children, “Who has ever been on a mountain?”  Then ask, “Who likes to eat M&Ms?  I like to eat M&Ms too.  Raise your hand if you can tell me how the words mountain and M&M are alike.  That’s right, they both say /m/.”
  3. Now let’s see if you can say this tongue twister (write on board).  “Mom met me on M&M Mountain.”  Let’s say it three times together.  We’ll say it together again and each time you hear the /m/ sound rub your tummy as if you’re saying those M&Ms are Mmmmmmm good.
  4. Now that we know what sound m  makes, let’s learn how to write an uppercase and lowercase m.  Using your finger as an imaginary pencil follow my instructions to write an m.

Uppercase M:  Go down straight, back up, down the slide, up the slide, and down straight.

Lowercase m:  Go down, back up, hump around, and hump around.

Great job!  Now let’s try this with our writing paper and pencils.  For uppercase M:  start at the roof and go down straight through the fence and onto the sidewalk, go back to the roof and slide through the fence onto the sidewalk, back up through the fence to the roof, then straight back down to the sidewalk.

Lowercase m:  Start at the fence and go down to the sidewalk, hump back around touching the fence and landing on the sidewalk, then hump back around the same way again.

Now that you know how to write upper and lowercase m, I want you to practice writing ten uppercase M’s and ten lowercase m’s on your writing paper.

  1. Now I will hand everyone two pieces of construction paper.  On one piece I want you to write an uppercase M.  Once you have written it, cut it out along the top only, not underneath (Model this for students).  It should look like a mountain.  Glue the M mountain to the other piece of construction paper.  Next, you will glue M&Ms along the outside of the mountain to form the uppercase letter M.  ( Lowercase m can also be done in the same way).
  2.  Read Are You My Mother?  To begin with, stop after each page and point out any /m/ sounds on the page and the printed letter m.  Then, ask the students to point out the /m/ sounds and the printed letter m.
  3.  For assessment, take up the ten uppercase M’s and the ten lowercase m’s the students printed to assess their knowledge of printing the letters M and m.



          Adams, Marilyn Jager.  (1990).  Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print- A Summary.  Center for the Study of Reading and The Reading Research and Education Center.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  64

          Dickinson, Sue.  Spell, Read, and Write.  How to Print Letters(handout).

          Eastman, P.D.  (1960).  Are You My Mother?  Random House, Inc.  New York.

Click here to return to Guidelines