Emergent Literacy

Tamra Swindall

                                                                           I Spy the Letter M!


ãPrereadersâ knowledge of letter names was a strong predictor of success in early reading achievement (Adams, 36).ä  As a result of this, children need to be taught letters and their phonemes before they can begin reading successfully.  The goal of this lesson is to introduce the letter M.  During the lesson, the children will practice seeing the letter M, hearing it, saying it and writing it.  After doing our activities and reading our book I am hoping for the students to have a good understanding of the letter M, itâs phoneme /m/, and be able to continue to recognize the letter when they see it in print.


-Mama, Do you Love Me? By, Barbara M. Joose
-worksheet (included)
-lined chalkboard


1. We will review the previous letters learned and revisit the most recent letter briefly.
2. First, we will introduce the letter M; have the letters Mm on the chalkboard for the children to see.  Boys and Girls, this is the letter M.  Does anyone know what sound the letter M makes?  Thatâs right, /m/.  What does our mouth do when we say /m/?  Is it open or closed?  What about our lips?  Theyâre pressed together, arenât they?  Everyone say the /m/ sound with me·mmmmmm.  M says /m/.
3. Teach the class a tongue twister·My mom makes me muffins on Monday.  Say it twice to the class and then have them say it with you.  Have them count how many of the words have the /m/ sound.
4. Now, we will read the book Mama, Do you Love Me? By, Barbara M. Joose.  Before reading the book say, While Iâm reading this I want you to listen for the /m/ sound and every time you hear it I want you to raise your hand.  Read the book and talk briefly about some of the words the kids find that have the /m/ in it.
5. Now, weâre going to learn how to write the letter M.  Everyone look on your worksheet and find where the lines are for you to practice on.  We have two things to use to help us remember how to write the letter M.  When we write the capital M we can think of mountains. (Draw mountains) See how the capital M looks just like mountains.  Everyone watch me write a capital M up here on the board. (Draw capital letter on the board)  Start at the basement and go up to the attic, then back down to the basement, and back up to the attic, then down to the basement again.  Just like youâre drawing two mountains next to each other.  Now the lowercase M is a little different.  Think of the sound the M makes·/m/.  What do we say when we like something weâve eaten?  Mmm-mmm.  That is what weâre going to think of when we write our lowercase M.  We draw a line from the basement to the wall and then two humps and to remember how many humps weâre going to say mmm-mmm when we write the letter.  (Draw the lowercase letter on the board next to the uppercase M.)
6. The children should practice on their paper now.  They should do three capital letters and three lowercase letters on the space provided for them.
7. After the students finish they can complete the rest of the worksheet.  Give instructions to the children, On the worksheet I want you to circle the words that start with the letter M.  On the next part I want you to put a square around each M you find.
8. Assessment:  When they are finished with their worksheets, collect them to check.
9. Activity:  Play I Spy with the class.  The teacher finds things around the room that begin with the letter M and gives clues to the class.  The class must guess what the teacher is referring to.
10. When you finish the game, review with the children.  Ask What sound does the letter M make?  What are some things around the room that begin with that letter?  How do we remember how to write the letter M?


1. Adams, Marilyn (1990) Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print  A Summary  Center for the Study of Reading the Research and Education Center; University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign.
2.   http://www.askeric.org/Virtual/Lessons/Language_Arts/Reading/RDG0038.html
3. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/hillel.html

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