get a car in a jar

Get a Car in a Jar

Get a Car in a Jar
Target text


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel spelling -ar.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • far
  • jar
  • car
  • mark
  • star
  • start


  • One jar or multiple jars
  • Stars to put on cars and jars
  • Small toy cars
  • Strips of paper, chalk, or masking tape to make a racetrack
  • Word cards*
  • Track example pictures*
  • Get the Car in the Jar target text*  
  • Start the Car! target text*
  • Set Up a Race Track target text*

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will try to push a car into a jar from far and not far away, and will read and write words with -ar, such as car, jar, start, star, far, and smart.
Literacy Activities
Set up the car-in-the-jar game

  • Let the children read and do the following directions with you:
    • Put stars on the jar.
    • Put stars on the car.
    • Put marks (e.g., dots, lines, an X) on the car.
    • Put marks on the jar.
    • Write Start on a piece of paper.
    • Put the Start sign where the car should start.
    • Write Far away on a piece of paper.
    • Put the Far away sign far away from the jar.
    • Write Not far on a piece of paper.
    • Put the Not far sign close to the jar.
    • To start the race say, “On your mark, start!”

See how far a car will go

  • Set up a track with labeled marks along the way: not far, not too far, a little far, and very far (see example picture below).
  • Place the car at the starting mark and the jar at the far end of the track.
  • Push the car to see how far the car will go.
  • Try to get the car to get to the jar.
  • Let the children read the mark closest to where each car stops (e.g., “My car went very far!” “This car is not far,” “This car is a little far,” “This car is very far”).
  • Comment on which cars went not far, not too far, a little far, very far, and to the jar once all the cars have been raced.
  • End the race by parking the cars in the parking lot (found below).

Pick -ar words from a jar  

  • Have children write -ar words from dictation (e.g., jar, car, far, star, start, mark, park, dart).
  • Place the written words in a jar.
  • Let the children pull the words from the jar, read them, and match ones that are identical.

Read target words in texts

  • Engage the children in reading the target text Start the Car! (found below) together.
  • Identify words in the text with -ar.
  • Read the text together again, fading support.

Write about the activity 

  • Display a word wall with the following words: car, jar, start, park, star, dart, far, card, hard, smart, mark.
  • Have children write about trying to get a car in a jar or setting up a race track and seeing how far cars can go.   
Read More

SEEL Target Texts

Start the Car!

It is time to start the race.
Place your car at the Start mark.
Start your car!
But be smart. Don’t start to race till you hear “Start!"
How far will your car go?
Will the car make it to the Not far mark?
Will the car go to the Far away mark?
Maybe your car will go to the Very far mark!

Get the Car into a Jar

Let’s play a game.
Put stars on a car and jar.
Push cars to see if you can get a car into a jar!

Set Up a Race Track

Put the word start where the cars will start the race.  
Make marks along the length of the track.
The marks will tell how far a car could go.
Make a mark that is not far from the start. 
Make a mark that is not too far away from the start.
Make a mark that is a little far away from the start
Make a mark that is very far away from the start. 
Set a jar at the end of the track.
Can your car go as far as the jar? 
Let’s find out!
Read More



SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.