Mmmm ‘M’ is Yummy!


Rachel Carter

Emergent Literacy Design


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify the grapheme M and the phoneme attached to this letter - /m/. Students will learn how to recognize /m/ in spoken words by visualizing a representation of the sound (picture of someone eating something) and the letter symbol M. They will also practice how to identify /m/ in written words by the letter symbol and phonetic cue reading.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil, written display of "Mary made more mayonnaise than Marsha", M.W. Brown’s My World (HarperCollins, 2001), picture of someone eating something good with letter ‘M’ and ‘m’ included, word cards with MY, ME, ARM, MlX, MlNT, and EMPTY, assessment worksheet to identify words with ‘M’, ‘m’, and /m/



1) Say: Today we are going to learn about the sound /m/ and how we can spot that sound in words. The sound /m/ is made by the letter M.


2) Have you ever heard someone say "Mmmm, this is yummy!"? lf so, you have heard someone use the letter ‘M’ and it’s sound! Let’s look at this picture (hold up picture of someone eating food). Can you make this sound, too? You can make this sound by putting your lips together and making a humming sound (make mouth form the ‘mmm’ sound).


3) Let me show you how to find the /m/ sound in ‘TRlM’. I’m going to stretch the /m/ sound out in super slow motion and listen for the sound that says, "Mmmm, that’s yummy!" Ttt-rrr-iimm. Slower: Ttt-rrrr-iiii-mmmm. There it was! I felt my lips go together and make a humming noise. I can feel /m/ in ‘trim.’


4) Let’s try a tongue twister (on chart). "Mary made more mayonnaise than Marsha." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /m/ at the beginning of the words. "Mmmmary mmmade mmmmore mmmayonnaise than Mmmmarsha." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/m/ary /m/ade /m/ore /m/ayonnaise than /m/arsha."


5) (Have students take out primary paper and pencil). We use the letter M to spell /m/. Capital M looks like two mountain peaks. Let’s write the lowercase letter m. Start at the fence. Make a straight line down to the sidewalk, come back up to the fence, make a hump like an upside down ‘u’ back down to the sidewalk twice, like you are making two camel humps (show on board so everyone can see). I want to see everybody’s ‘m’. After I put a star by it, I want you to make nine more just like it.


6) Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /m/ in arm or leg? Empty or full? Number or letter? Ramp or stair? Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /m/ in some words. Rub your tummy if you hear /m/: Ant, march, mane, not, any, broom, farm.


7) Say: "Let’s look at this worksheet." Made by teacher with words with the letter ‘m’ and without. Then ask for children to read and identify (by rubbing their tummy) what words contain /m/. Ask them to draw a picture to go along with the worksheet. Each drawing needs to have at least two things that contain the /m/ phoneme. Display their work.


8) Show ‘MlX’ and model how to decide if it is mix or fix: The M tells me to hum, /m/, so this word is mmm-ix, mix. You try some: MY: MY or BY? ME: HE or ME? ARM: FARM or ARM? MlNT: MlNT or HlNT?


9) For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and circle the pictures that begin with M. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from the previous step.




Making Friends With Phonemes,


M.W. Brown’s My World, Harper Collins, 2001.


Return to the Expeditions Index.