M is magical!

Emergent Literacy

Allison Nall


Rationale: The teacher will model the how to recognize the letter m and the sound /m/ that the letter makes. We begin with the letter m because it is easier to recognize than some of the other letters, and children will be able to build upon their knowledge from today’s lesson.


Materials:         Cards with the letter  m

                         Word list with the words music, snake, mountain, banana, cat, money, make, jam
                                                                palm, farm

                        Pictures of a monkey, music notes, mountain, money
                         Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola


Instructions: 1. The teacher will begin by showing the letter m and see if the children know the letter. Do you know what letter this is? Right! It is the letter M. Can any of you tell me what sound it makes? Yes, this letter makes an /m/ sound! Now, everytime I show you this letter and touch it, I want you to say /m/. Let's practice and see if we can all say /m/. (Class in unison says /m/.) The teacher will touch the card several times.Now, remember the letter m says /m/ like "Mmm Mmm Good!" I'm going to rub my stomach. Now I want all of you to say "Mmm Mmm Good" and rub your stomachs. Let's practice! (Everyone in the class participates.) The teacher will then show the pictures to the students to further their knowledge and so they can relate /m/ to real world pictures.


2. I want you to listen to some words as I read them aloud.. If the word does begin with /m/,  say “Mmmm Mmmm good” and rub your stomachs. If the word does not begin with /m/, I want you to shake your head to show me that it does not begin with /m/. Words include music, snake, mountain, banana, cat, money, make.


3. The teacher will then say the word ‘jam’. Do you hear /m/ in the word 'jam'?  Hopefully they will say yes. Good job! The sound /m/ is in the word jam, it is just at the end of the word, not at the beginning like some of the other words we've been using. Listen carefully to these words, and repeat them after me: jam, palm, farm.


4. The teacher will then reuse all of the /m/ words, and ask students if they hear /m/ in the beginning or at the end. If you do hear it at the beginning, say “Mmmm Mmmm good”, if you hear it at the end, you should clap your hands.

Assessment: Ask children individually if they can think of any words that have the /m/ sound. Let's practice words that make the /m/ sound when we say them. Can you think of any words? Here's a word that I just thought of. How about broom? Does that work? What about mop? Now let's see if you can think of any words! Teacher should have pen and paper ready to mark any incorrect words that the student gives.




Beck, Isabel L. (2006). Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys. (32-35). New York: The Guilford Press.

dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona. Simon and Schuster, 1975.