Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words. Children need to be able to recognize phonemes in words before they can put letters with the phonemes. In this lesson, we will learn about the /m/ phoneme. The sound made after a bite of good cake is /m/. The children will learn to recognize the /m/ phoneme in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation for the phoneme and a letter symbol that represents this phoneme. They will then practice finding the /m/ phoneme in words.
Materials: Primary paper and pencils, poster with “Munching on marshmallows makes my mouth say mmm”, a set of cards with the letter “m” on it for the class, stickers, a picture page for the class with money, chair, milk, dog, pencil, ham, gum, cloud, moon, can, and, mountain, and Good Morning, Muffin Mouse, by Lawrence DiFiori.
1. Letters stand for how our mouth moves when we say words. Today we are going to make our mouth move to make the sound /m/.
2. First I am going to show you what the letter “m” looks like (teacher writes it on the blackboard for the children to see). First we are going to learn about the sound that “m” makes and then we will learn to write it.
3. When you eat something good does your mouth sometimes say /m/? Mine does. We are going to be looking for this mouth move in words today. We are going to pretend that we just ate something good like a piece of cake and make the mouth move /m/. Rub your tummy and say, “mmm, that was good.” Now just say, “mmm.” Good, now say “m.” Now say, “emmm” slowly. Can anybody tell me what letter in the alphabet makes the “mmm” sound? That’s right, “m” makes the sound “mmm.”
4. Watch my mouth when I say the /m/ sound. Who can tell me what my mouth is doing when I say /m/? That’s right, my lips are together. Now you try it and see what your mouth does.
5. Look at the chart and repeat the tongue twister after me. “Munching on marshmallows makes my mouth say “mmm.” Let’s say it together three times. Now let’s stretch out the /m/ sound at the beginning of each word. “Mmmunching on mmmarshmallows mmmakes mmmy mmmouth say “mmmmm.”
6. Now let’s spell the /m/ sound using the letter “m” on the blackboard. Get out your paper and pencil and let’s practice writing “m.” Start at the middle of the road, draw down to the edge of the road, make the hump that touches the middle of the road then curve down to the edge of the road, and hump over again (teacher models this while telling the students). When I come put a sticker on your paper, please draw ten more just like it. When you see the letter “m” in a word, that is when you say /m/.
7. Call on students to answer: Listen closely and tell me if you hear /m/ in soon or moon? Fan or man? Come or go? House or Mouse? Swim or Run? Bacon or Ham? Juice or milk?
8. Hand out cards with the letter “m” written on them. Read Good Morning, Muffin Mouse to the class and discuss the story. Read the book again and have the students listen for the /m/ sound. Ask them to raise their “m” card when they hear the /m/ sound.
9. For assessment, hand out the picture page and have the children name each picture. Have the students circle the pictures whose names have the /m/ sound in them.
Murray, Dr. Bruce. 2001. The Reading Genie Website. www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/breakthroughs/rwilliamsel.html
Eldredge, J. Lloyd. 1995. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms, p. 104-107.
here to return to Illuminations.