Make a Mess


Associate the lowercase letter m (and uppercase M) with the /m/ sound (e.g., mess, make, moose).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • mouse
  • mix
  • make
  • mat
  • moose
  • map
  • moon


  • Letter cards
  • Small empty trash can 
  • Thick paper for a messy mat 
  • Macaroni, glue, and paper cups
  • Picture cards or objects
  • Mop (made with yarn taped to the end of a pencil)
  • Make Mouse a Muffin text
  • Millie the Mouse graphic
  • Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley (Blue Sky Press, 1997) (optional)

Tell the children they will make a mess as they practice writing the letter M (and lowercase m) and saying the /m/ sound in words such as mat, mix, and moose. Read Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley (optional).

Literacy Activities
March to find the letter M in a mess

  • Place M and m letter cards around the classroom.
  • Instruct the children to find the letter M.
  • Have the children chant, “/m/ - /m/ - /m/” as they march around the classroom.
  • Have the children say, “M makes the /m/ sound” when they find an M.

Make a mess

  • Tell the children to put the pictures (or objects) that start with M on a messy mat and the pictures that do not start with M in a trash can.
  • Name each picture or object that starts with the letter M and comment that the letter M makes the /m/ sound.
  • Have the children take turns selecting a picture or object that starts with M to mix into a mess.
  • Have the children mix, make, mash, and move the mess.
  • Use a mop using a mop (made with yarn taped to the end of a pencil) to “mop up the mess.”

More Practice (choose from the following)
Read target words in a text

  • Read the text Make Mouse a Muffin to the children.
  • Have the children find and circle the letter M throughout the text, saying the /m/ sound each time they circle the letter M.

Write the target letter

  • Give each child a picture of Millie the Mouse.
  • Have the children draw pictures of the items that they placed in the mouse mess on the messy mat.
  • Have the children label the pictures by writing the letter M next to each object. Support as needed.

Make an M out of Macaroni

  • Write the letter M using glue.
  • Have the children place macaroni on the glue while producing the /m/ sound.

Magical musical maracas

  • Put a small amount of macaroni into a cup and tape the cup to another cup to make maracas.
  • Have the children write the letter M on their maracas and hum a song saying the /m/ sound.

SEEL Target Texts

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Make Mouse a Muffin

Make Millie Mouse a muffin.
Mix many M’s into the muffin.
Mix macaroni into the muffin.
Mix money into muffin.
Mix a mint into the muffin.
Mash a marshmallow into the muffin.
Microwave the muffin for a minute.
Mouse might munch the muffin!


SEEL At Home

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Associate the letter M (and lowercase m) with the /m/ sound (e.g., mess, map, moon). 


  • Millie Mouse graphic and pictures of items starting with M
  • Mat (made out of a piece of paper)
  • Mop (made out of a pencil and yarn)

Activity: Mouse Mess

  • Hide pictures of items that start with M around the room.
  • Take turns searching for pictures that start with M while holding the Millie the Mouse graphic. 
  • Name each picture and comment that it starts with the letter M which makes the /m/ sound. 
  • Have Millie Mouse make a mess on the mat by mixing the pictures that start with M onto the mat.
  • Pretend to clean up the mess by using a mop (made out of a pencil with yarn attached). 
  • Repeat the activity using objects around the house that begin with the /m/ sound. 
  • Help your child make a list of items from the messy mat that start with the letter M. Read the list together and have your child circle the M in each word.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.