Mmm! Something Smells Good!

Emergent Literacy

By: Morgan Montgomery


Rationale: To start with a correspondence that is slightly easier than short vowel sounds, I have chosen to teach the consonant m. In this lesson, we will practice writing and finding the /m/ sounds in words. Through practice making the /m/ sound, identifying the /m/ sound in words, and writing the letter m, children will have a good understanding of the letter m.


(for teacher)

Dry erase board and markers

Chart paper with tongue twister (Mary mailed her money to the monster)

(for students)

Primary Paper


Pictures with the letter m (moose, mailbox, money, monkey, milk, mouse)

Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman



1."Boys and girls, today we are going to learn about the letter m. The letter m is in my name, Miss Montgomery! I want us to think of where m is in the alphabet. Can anyone think of the letters before and after m? Good!  l and n! Now, I want us to practice making the sound that m makes. Mmm! That's the sound I make when I have just eaten something that is really good! I want everyone to think of something you like to eat. Mmm!"

2."Now, I want us to try a fun tongue twister. I will say I tfirst, and then I want you to say it with me the second time. 'Mary mailed her money to the monster.' Good job! I want us to say that tongue twister again, but this time, let's stretch out the /m/ sound. 'Mmmary mmmailed her mmmoney to the mmmonster.' Great! I think you guys are really getting the hang of the letter m. One more time, guys! But this time, let's make the /m/ sound and pause before saying the rest of the word. '/M/ary  /m/ailed  her  /m/oney  to the /m/onster.'  You guys are just too good."

3."The next activity I want us to do id to look at pictures with the letter m on them" (show students pictures and have them say the appropriate name for each picture with emphasis on the letter m). I think we know what things look like that start with the letter m. I am going to call out a few words and I want you to tell me which words have the /m/ sound. (Ask students whether or not they hear the /m/ sound in mud or dirt, sad or mad, and science or math?)

4."Well, now that we really understand the letter m, it is time for us to practice writing! (Pass out primary paper. Write the letter m on the board). "Boys and girls, this is the letter m. To write this letter, we will start on the sidewalk, go up to the fence, and look back down to the sidewalk. But don't stop there! We have to do that twice to get to the letter m! Go back up to the fence and back down to the sidewalk! I want you guys to write the letter m 5 times on your paper. I will walk around to see that you are doing it correctly.

5.Now, we are going to read a fun book that is FULL of the letter m. It is called, Are You My Mother? It is about a sweet baby bird who cannot find his mother! WSO, when we are reading to find if the baby bird finds his mother, I want us to run out tummies every time we hear the /m/ sound.

6.For assessment, I will have students state whether or not they hear the /m/ sound in the following words:

Milk or water?

Video or Movie?

Mother or Father?

Carpet or Mat?

In addition, they will have to draw the letter m for me on a sheet of paper so I know they understand how to write it correctly.



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

King, Milissa. (2004). Mischievous Mindy

Mitchell, Megan. (2008). Miley the Monkey.

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