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Emergent Literacy: Yummy in my Tummy

Yummy in my Tummy


Emergent Literacy Lesson

By: JuliaLolley


This literacy lesson will help children develop an understanding of /m/. They will be able to recognize /m/ through spoken word as well as through readable text. The picture of a boy eating pizza will serve as a visual representation of the letter sound. The students will be able to find the letter in words, read words with the letter, as well as write the letter and read a /m/ story book. They will also provide phoneme awareness during the phonetic cue activity with /m/.


Visual aid of boy with pizza, pencils, primary paper, Tongue Tickler on poster board, storybook, word cards, and worksheets


1.    Explain to students the importance of the new idea by stating: Hi students, today we are going to talk about letters in the alphabet and the way we say them. It is important to know how to say each letter and know how our mouths move when we say them in order for it to become easier to learn.

2.    Have you ever had a meal that was so yummy you ended up saying “mmmm” and rubbing your belly? Let’s pretend we have just eaten your favorite kind of cake and enjoy it so much that a big “mmmm” comes out of our mouths. Do you feel the shape of your mouth when we say /m/? When we say /m/, we put your lips together and make a vibrating noise by vibrating our vocal chords.

3.    Now I am going to show you how we can find /m/ in the word flame. I am going to stretch out the word so we can both hear /m/. Make sure you have your listening ears on. Here we go. Fffff-l-l-ll-aaa-mmmm-e. I heard it! Did you? I felt my lips being pushed together and the /m/ sound come out of my mouth.

4.    Now we are going to try a tongue tickler. I will first read it from this poster once alone then again while stretching out each /m/ word and then we will read it as a class. Here we go. “Macy makes marvelous muffins.” Ok now I am really going to stretch out each word to notice how my mouth moves with each letter. “Mmmmm-a-ccc-yy mmm-a-k-e-ss mmm-aaarr-vvv-e-l-ousss- mmm-uu-ffff-i—nnn-s.” Now lets do it as a class. “Mmmacy mmakesss mmmarrvelouuss mmmuffins.”

5.    Let’s talk about how /m/ looks on paper. We see on the poster that the tongue tickler has a lot of /m/ words on it. Can someone point at an /m/ to me. That is right Now lets all get a sheet of paper and practice writing /m/ for ourselves. If you notice (as I write it on sample paper) we start at the fence go down to the sidewalk, back up to the fence while curving back down to the sidewalk then again up to the fence and down to the sidewalk. Now lets practice by writing a few lowercase m’s on our own paper. Good! Now we can work on the uppercase /m/. It looks just like the lowercase but bigger. We will start (while modeling) at the rooftop and go down the sidewalk then back up to the rooftop and down to the fence then back up to the rooftop and down to the fence. Now it is your turn to practice.

6.     Now we are going to read a story that has a main character whose name starts with /m/. It is called Marvin the Monkey. Marvin is a monkey who likes to hang around on his tree. I wonder what he will do all day besides hang around? Lets read and find out. Students will discuss what their favorite /m/ word was and why.

7.    Use phonetic cue cards to test a students’ phonemic awareness. Model first with the word MOVE. Look at the card and ask, is this MOVE or GROVE? When I look at the word I see the first letter has two humps so it must be move. Now you try. MAT or BAT? MUST or DUST? MAKE or CAKE? MOP or TOP?  

8.     A worksheet will be used  to assess students understanding  of /m/. Students must color pictures of the words that end with /m/ as well as write the letter. This will allow me to assess the understanding the students have of the lesson.


Murray, Bruce. Gaining Alphabetic Insight:  Is Phoneme Manipulation Skill or         IdentityKnowledgeCausal? http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/insight.html

Marvin the Monkey Story. Du Plessis Basset, Les. 


Tongue Tickler: http://www.auburn.edu/~mlm0034/Magillel.htm

 Assessment worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/m-ends2.htm

Fluency Chart:

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