“Mmmm… Yummy to My Tummy!”

Emergent Literacy
Amy Lewis


Rationale:  In order for children to learn to read and spell words they need phoneme awareness.  Meaning that children must be able to recognize letters and know the corresponding phoneme.  To do this children have to learn how to recognize phonemes in spoken words.  This lesson will help children recognize /m/ in spoken words and written words.  Students will be provided with a meaningful representation and letter symbol for /m/.  After learning that they will practice identifying /m/ within words and will also practice writing the letter symbol, m.


Materials:   Primary paper and pencil

                 Drawing paper and crayons

                 Picture of hand gesture for the letter m (rubbing hand on belly)

Poster with tongue twister (Martha made a mess making macaroni on Monday)

Poster with list of words that contain phoneme /m/ in story.

If You Give a Mouse a Muffin By: Laura Numeroff

m/? cards for each student

Worksheet with some clip art pictures that have /m/ within them or some that do not. (mat, run, mom, foam, dad, muffin, cookie, mountain, etc.)


1)  Introduce the lesson by explaining to students that the alphabet is a special secret code we use to read and write.  Learning the code can be tricky because we have to know the sound that each letter when saying a word.  “Today we are going to work on making and spotting the mouth move for /m/.  It may seem difficult at first to spot sounds but it will be easier if you pay close attention to how much to mouth moves when saying /m/ and you will soon be able to spot it no matter where it is hiding in the word.

2)  “Who in here like chocolate?  Who likes pizza?  What about ice cream?  I don’t know about you all but all these things taste really yummy to me.   I love it so much it makes me say… ‘mmmm…mmmm.’  Also I like to rub my belly whenever my food is good and my belly is full.  So every time we say ‘mmm’ be sure to rub your belly also.  Everyone thinks of their favorite food and thinks of it while we say it again as a class.  Ready?  Everyone say it with me…. ‘mmmm’….’mmmm.’  Can someone tell me how their mouth was moving when saying /m/?  Our lips come together and the throat vibrates.”

3)    There are a lot of words with /m/ in them.  Lets try a tongue twister (poster).  “Martha made a mess making macaroni on Monday.’  Lets practice saying it three times together as a class now.  Say it again but this time lets stretch out the /m/ at the beginning of the words.  Also be sure to rub your bellies for each /m/ sound you hear.  ‘Mmmartha mmmade a mmmess mmmaking mmmacaroni on Mmmonday.’  Ok now lets try it a different way.  This time we are going to break the /m/ off the words:  /m/artha  /m/ade /a /m/ess  /m/aking  /m/acararoni on /M/onday.

4)  Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  “We can use the letter m to spell /m/.  I will demonstrate how to write it first.  For upper-case M, go straight down, down the slide, up the slide and down straight.  Lets try it together.  Please raise your hand when you have it and I will check it.  After I come by and mark it on your paper write the capital M nine more times, for a total of 10.  Now that everyone can make the capital M lets try the lower case m.  For lower case m, go down, hump around, hump around.  Lets all try it now.  Raise your hand once you finish and I will come by and check it.  After I check your work continue to write it nine more times.  Well, now that we all know to say /m/ when we see the letter m alone."

5)  “Now let me show you how to find /m/ in the word sample.  I am going to stretch sample out as slowly as I can and you all listen for the /m/..  S-s-s-a-a-a-m-m-m-p-le, s-s-s-a-a-m-m-m-m… I found it.  I can hear /m/ in the word sample.  Did you hear it?”

6)   “Now I am going to say two words and I need you to listen to figure out if the /m/ sound is in either one for them.  For example hat or mad. Demonstrate h-h-h-a-a-at-t, m-m-m-a-a-a-d.   “I hear /m/ in mad.  Now I will let you all try it some more.”  Call on students to answer and explain how they knew.

a.  Do you hear /m/ in umbrella or book?

b. Do you hear /m/ in fox or monkey?

c.  Do you hear /m/ in jump or jog?

              d.  Do you hear /m/ in stand or more?

           “Now lets see if you are able to spot the mouth move /m/ in some words.”  Pass out m cards to each student.  “Whenever I call             out a word with the /m/ sound face your cards towards me.  If you don’t hear the sound in the word then turn the card to the             question mark side.”  Words to use (one at a time): muffin, flower, jam, jog, moose, mother, now, team, Megan

7)  Say: If You Give A Moose A Muffin By: Laura Joffe Numeroff.  First read through we will only talk about the storyline.  Book talk:  ”A moose wanders in to visit a young boy and is wanting a muffin and homemade blackberry jam.  The moose is constantly wanting more.  What will the young boy do?  Help the moose and keep giving him things or get rid of the moose?”  For the second read through students will rub their tummy for each time they can hear the /m/.  Keep a list of the words that they hear with /m/.  Then the students could write a brief message about the story using invented spelling and illustrate the message as well.

      8)  Assessment: Pass out worksheet with clip art pictures on it and have the students circle or color the pictures that have the               /m/  in it: mat, run, mom, foam, dad, muffin, cookie, mountain, etc.



Numeroff, Laura.  If You Give a Moose a Muffin.  HarperCollins Publishing, 1991.

The Reading Genie: How to Teach Phoneme Awareness: Making Friends with Phonemes: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/phon.html

Ashley Wild.  “Muffins are Yummmmmy!”.  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/wildel.html

Murray, Bruce. "Example of Emergent Literacy Design: Sound the Foghorn."  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/connect/murrayel.html

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