In a nutshell
The letter ‘m’ is one of the very easiest letters for a new reader to learn. It consistently makes an ‘m is for mother’ sound, it is rarely silent and does not join with other letters to produce unusual sounds.
Here is a catchy song from Hi-5 featuring lots of words starting with ‘m’:
‘M’ in Roman numerals
Depending on how old your child is and how they are progressing, introducing them to Roman numerals can be worthwhile – it can help increase their familiarity with several letters and at the same time enhance their mathematical abilities by challenging them to think about numbers in a different way.
If you’ve forgotten how Roman numerals work, here is a quick refresher:
I = 1
V = 5
X = 10
L = 50
C = 100
D = 500
M = 1,000
Unlike our system where each numeral has a place value (for example, in 264, ‘2’ means ‘two hundred’ because of its position) in Roman numerals most of the time you just add up to work out the number. For example:
XVIII = 10 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 18
MDCCLXXIII = 1,000 + 500 + 100 + 100 + 50 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 1773
The only slight complication occurs with the digits 4 and 9:
IV = 4 (This is telling you to subtract 1 from 5)
XL = 40 (50 minus 10)
XC = 90 (100 minus 10)
CXLIX = 149 (100 + 40 + 9 = 149)
In addition to being a good brain exercise, knowing Roman numerals is a great help when at the end of a film you want to work out the year it was made!
If you would like to teach your child more, you may find our Roman numerals chart helpful.
This is a tough one! When ‘m’ and ‘n’ are in close proximity it is hard not to mix them up. (If you are not familiar with an anemone, it is a creature that lives in the sea and is pronounced uh -NEM -uh-nee). See how you and your child fare in saying this one five times quickly:
Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone.
‘I Spy’ words
‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ is a great game to play to reinforce the sound that a letter makes and it can be a fun game to kill some time – for example on a long car trip.
Here is a selection of short words starting with ‘m’ for you to use:
mother, mum, mom, mat, milk, mail, meat, mouse, monkey, moon, muffin, man, mushroom, mug, mud, magazine, mop, meal, mask, mane, menu, mess, mitt, moss, moth, mirror.
The Letter M Worksheets
This letter m worksheet gives your child lots of opportunities to practice writing capital M.
This letter m worksheet focuses on the lower case letter m.
This worksheet gives your child an introduction to the sound that ‘m’ makes, and also allows them to practice writing the capital and lower case letter m.
This worksheet provides further practice with the basic ‘m’ sound.