Mmm, Mmm … Good!
 Emergent Literacy- Teaching letter Recognition
Emily Irvin

 Rationale: Children must understand the alphabetic principle in order to learn to read and spell words. They must understand that letters in written words are mapped onto phonemes in spoken words. In order to do this they must recognize phonemes in spoken words first. This lesson helps children to learn the /m/ in spoken words by learning a fun remembrance and allows them to practice finding the /m/ in written words.

Materials: Primary pencil and paper, Chart with “Molly met Mary at the matinee movie”, picture page with /m/ and other words (man, mail, flower, horse, monkey, mermaid, fish), picture cards with moon, sun, mustard, ketchup, ocean, mountain, music, and radio words, book: Are You My Mother?, drawing paper and crayons


  1. Introduce the lesson by saying “Language is like a secret code. Our letters have a certain shape and certain sounds. Sometimes it is tricky to know what sounds the letters make so we are going to pay special attention to how our mouth moves as we say the sounds. Today we are going to look at the mouth move /m./. At first it may be hard to find in words, but with a little practice you will be able find /m/ in many words.
  2. Ask students: What do you say when you eat something good? Do you ever say /m/? Let’s all say it, /m/. Good. Now we are going to rub our hands across our tummies when we say /m/. Let’s try it. Great! Now whenever we hear a word with the /m/ sound I want you to stretch out /m/ and rub your tummy. This motion will help us remember the /m/ sound.
  3. To find /m/ in spoken words you must stretch out the word. I will show you how. If we have the work, bump, I will stretch the word out. Bbbbuuuummmppppp. Where do I hear my /m/? Bbbuuummmmmmmmm..There it is! There’s the /m/ in bump.
  4. I want everyone to look at the chart. We are going to say a silly sentence, a tongue twister. “Molly met Mary at the matinee movie.” Ok, no every one say it with me. Very good! Now we are going to say it and make the rubbing motion when we hear the /m/. It helps to stretch out the /m/ so let’s do that as well. “Mmmolly mmmet Mmmary at the mmmatinee mmmovie.” Great job!
  5. Have students take out their primary paper and pencils. There is a letter we use to spell /m/. The letter is m, and we are going to practice writing it. Everyone try this with me. Start at the fence and make a line straight down, then one hump and another hump. Now I want everyone to practice making m’s on their own. I am going to walk around and look at your papers. If you are writing them correctly I will put a checkmark on your paper, and if you need a little help then I will help you. I would like everyone to make a whole line of m’s on their paper. Good job! Now you know how to write the /m/ you hear in words using the letter m.
  6. Call on students to answer: “Do you hear /m/ in many or few, cap or map, movie or film, make or take?” Good job! Pass out picture cards to students. Say: “We are going to play a sound game. You have some picture cards that have different pictures that represent words. I am going to ask you which one you hear the /m/ in and you will hold that card up. Do you hear /m/ in moon or sun, mustard or ketchup, ocean or mountain, music or radio?” Great job hearing those /m/ words!
  7. Read: Are You My Mother? Say: “Class we are going to read this book and every time you hear the /m/ sound I want you to rub your tummies and say /m/. Pay special attention to those /m/ words and we will see how many you remember when the story is over.” Read the book and have students discuss which /m/ words they heard. Then have them think of something that starts with the /m/ sound and draw a picture of this as well as write a sentence to tell about their picture (may use invented spelling).
  8. For assessment pass out a sheet with pictures and have the students circle the ones that have the /m/ sound.


1. Eastman, P. (1960) Are You My Mother? Random House Children's Books.  New York.

2. Eldredge, J. Lloyd; Teach Decoding: Why and How, second edition; Upper Saddle River, NJ; Pearson Education, Inc.; 2005, 1995; 60-82

3. Dorsey Tippett; “Move the M My Way”

 4. Milissa King; “Mischievous Mindy”

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