Elaine Sirota


Emergent Literacy Design


Mmmm… Mommy Made Muffins!


Rationale: In order for children to become successful readers they must first understand that letters stand for phonemes and phonemes stand for spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they must recognize phonemes in spoken word contexts. This lesson will help children identify /m/. They will learn to recognize /m/ in spoken words by learning a tongue twister to spot the mouth move /m/. Then they will learn the letter symbol, practice writing it, and find /m/ in words.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with “Mommy makes me muffins every morning”; m letter cards; book- Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon; coloring paper and crayons; worksheets with different pictures



1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is tricky and that we must first understand that that letters stand for something. I will explain that the alphabet is made up of 26 letters and that these letters make different sounds. Letters stand for the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we are going to work on spotting the mouth move /m/. We are going to find words that contain the letter m and learn how to write the letter m.


2. What is your favorite food? My favorite food is pizza and whenever I get done eating pizza I always say, “mmmmm….I want some more”. Have you eve done that? So let’s pretend that right now we are eating our favorite foods: candy, pizza, ice cream, and cake. After we eat each of these foods we are going to say, “mmmmm that was good”. As we say mmmm we are going to rub our tummies. By that sound, does anyone know what letter we will be looking for today? “M”.  That is right.


3. Let’s try a tongue twister (on chart). “Mommy makes me muffins every morning”. Everybody say it three times together. Does everyone hear the mmm in the tongue twister? Let’s say it again but slower and let’s stretch the /m/ at the beginning of the words. “Mmmommy makes mmme mmmuffins every mmmorning”. Try it again and this time break it off the word: “/M/ ommy /m/ akes /m/ e /m/ uffins every /m/ orning.


4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil). We can use the letter m to spell /m/. We are going to write both upper case and lower case. I am going to demonstrate how to write the letter on the chart paper first. To make an upper-case letter m you first go straight down, down the slide, up the slide and down straight. Now let’s try doing it together. I will walk around helping any students that are having trouble. Next we will write a lower-case m. Start at the fence. You first go down, hump around, hump around. Now let’s try doing it together. I will walk around helping any students that are having trouble. Now we will practice writing lower and upper case m’s. I’m going to call out either upper or lower and you are going to have to write it.


5. Let me show you how to find /m/ in the word lamp. I’m going to stretch lamp out in supper slow motion and listen for the mmmm sound. Ll-aa-m-p. Ll-ll-aa-aa-m-m-m… I hear it! I found the mmm sound in the word lamp.

6. Now lets talk about some words that have an m and make an mmm sound (pass out m letter cards). I’m going to call out some words and I want you to put up your card on the side with the mmm sound whenever you hear the sound mmmm. If you don’t hear the sound, then turn your card on the blank side. Man, mommy, pet, dog, jump, kid, mad, school?


7. Read the book Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon. Talk about the story using a KWL scaffold. Stop at various points throughout the book asking the children what they think will happen next and provide meaningful conversation about the book. Read the book a second time having the children hold up their m letter cards whenever they hear words with /m/. List their words on the board. Then have each student draw a picture of something that is mmmm good to you and write a message about it using invented spelling.


8. For assessment, I will go around the room and ask students to name a word that we have not talked about in this lesson that has the mmm sound. I will write these words on the board. I could also hand out a paper that has different pictures on it and let the children circle the pictures that contain the mmm sound.


Reference: Adam, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and learning about print. Department of Education, 1990.