Sarah Grizzle
Emergent Literacy
Rationale: In order to learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they have to recognize phonemes. This lesson focuses on the /m/ phoneme.  The goal of this lesson, is that children will learn to identify /m/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /m/ in printed words.

Primary paper and pencil, chart with “Michael moose and Molly mouse munch many marshmallows.”, class set of cards with the letter m on one side and a ? on the other side, drawing paper and crayons, picture page with mouse, gum, bus, house, cat, drum, man, sun,  lamb, moon, match, milk (pictures are printed off computer).   Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, marshmallows, praise stickers.

1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that writing is a secret code.  The tricky part is learning what letters stand for -- the mouth moves we make as we say words.  Today we are going to work on spotting the letter m and its mouth move /m/.  As you get to know the letter m and its /m/ sound, you will spot it in all kinds of words.

2.  Ask students: "When you taste something that is really good, what do you usually say?  Mmm, that's good!"  [Give each student a marshmallow and ask him or her how it tastes.] “Mmm!”  Say the phoneme /m/ and ask students how it feels to say /m/.  "When making the sound /m/, our lips are together and our mouths vibrate. A word that has the /m/ sound, is the word man.  Stretch the word man out so you can hear the /m/ sound, mmm-a-n."

3.  "Lets try a tongue twister [on chart].  Michael moose and Molly mouse munch many marshmallows.  Everybody say it three times together.  Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /m/ at the beginning of the words.  Mmmichael mmmoose and Mmmolly mmouse mmmunch mmmany mmmarshmallows.  Try it again, and this time break the /m/ sound off the word:  /m/ ichael  /m/ oose and  /m/ olly  /m/ ouse  /m/ unch  /m/ any  /m/ arshmallows.  Mmmarvelous job!"

4.  [Have students take out primary paper and pencils.]  "We use the letter m to spell /m/.  Let's write it.  Start at the fence and go straight down to the sidewalk.  Without lifting your pencil up, go back up to fence and make one hump, then two hump. Just like a camel. [Model each instruction given.] You have now completed drawing the letter m. I want to see everybody's m.  After I put a sticker on it, I want you make 5 more just like it.  When you see letter m all by itself in a word, that's the signal to say /m/, like Mmm that's good!"

5.  "I want you to listen for the /m/ sound in the words I am going to call out.  Tell me which word you hear the /m/ sound in. Do you hear /m/ in moon or soon? tan or man? jam or jet? hid or him? [Distribute m/? cards to students].  Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /m/ in some words.  Show me m if you hear /m/ and question mark if you don't. [slowly read words one by one] Mary's, mother, likes, to, mop, the, floor, on, Mondays."

6.  Have students sing a song to the tune of Skip to my Lou.  Say:  "We are going to make up a song to the tune of Skip to my Lou.  It sounds like this.  Who has a word that starts with /m/? Starts, starts, starts with /m/? Who has a word that starts with /m/? Skip to my Lou, my darling!” [Call on students with raised hands and repeat song. ex. Mouse is a word that starts with /m/ starts, starts, starts, with /m/.]  "You all did a mmarvelous job finding words that start with /m/, but can you find words that end in /m/?"  Sing:  “Who has a word that ends with /m/?  Ends, ends, ends with /m/. Who has a word that ends with /m/? Skip to my Lou, my darling!” [Call on students with raised hands and repeat song. It may also be done with words that have the /m/ sound in them.]

7.  Read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and talk about the story.  Read it again, and have students raise their hands when they hear words with /m/. [Explain to the students that many words in this book have the /m/ sound at the end of the word.]  List the words on the board.  Then have students draw pictures of their favorite foods and write a message about it using invented spelling.

8.  For assessment, give each student a picture page.  Help students name each picture and then have them draw the letter m with his or her crayon next to the pictures whose names have /m/.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice-Hall, Inc.  pp.58-59

Murray, Dr. Bruce. 2001. The Reading Genie Website. Reading Genie
For further information or questions, you can e-mail me! 

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