Cart at the Mart


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel spelling -ar (e.g., cart, far, hard).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • mart
  • cart
  • smart
  • part
  • dart
  • start
  • tart
  • apart
  • jar
  • card
  • yarn
  • park
  • bar


  • Graphic showing Bart at the mart, a cart, and a cart with a missing part (see below)
  • Chair with an empty box on the seat to be a cart
  • Paper towel roll or rolling pin to be a bar (the missing part) on the cart
  • Word cards (see below)
  • Letter cards for word blending and manipulating (see below)
  • Bart at the Mart target text (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children they will pretend to push a cart at the mart (explain that mart is a market or store). Tell them they will read and write words spelled with -ar: mart, cart, smart, part, Bart, dart, start, tart, jar, card, yarn, park.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Help Bart fix a cart at the mart
    • Show the children the picture of Bart at the mart and the picture of a cart with a missing part (see below).
    • Read the text Bart at the Mart then have the children act out the text using a chair with an empty box on the seat as a cart and a paper towel roll as a missing part:
      • Start out with a cart that fell apart and has a missing part.
      • Try to push the cart but decide the cart is too hard to push without a bar.
      • Park the cart and find the missing part to fix the cart.
      • Put the bar on the cart (attach a paper towel roll or stick to the seat of the chair).
      • Dart through the mart and put things in the cart (jars, tarts, cards, yarn).
  • Find -ar words at the mart
    • Place word cards (see below) around the room.
    • Have the children pretend to push a cart and dart around to collect the cards.
    • Let the children read the words on the cards and place them in the pretend cart.

Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Identify, blend and manipulate sounds
    • With word blending letter cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowels or either of the consonants:
      • Change the beginning sound(s): part --> mart; smart--> start; bar--> jar
      • Change the ending sound: dart --> dark; yarn --> yard; hard --> harm
  • Read target words in texts
    • Engage the children in reading the target text Bart at the Mart (see text below) together with the group. 
    • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with -ar.
    • Read the text again fading support.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a paper and pencil and let them write words from dictation: mart, cart, smart, part, Bart, dart, start, tart, jar, card, yarn, park, bar. Let them write about Bart at the Mart (e.g., Bart started to shop at the mart, but his cart was missing a part. It was hard for Bart to push his cart with a missing part. Bart found a new part and darted through the mart with the cart).

SEEL Target Texts

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Bart at the Mart

Bart goes to a mart and gets a cart.
Bart starts to push the cart, but the cart comes apart. 
The cart is missing a part.
But Bart has a smart idea.
Bart parks the cart and then finds the part he needs to fix the cart.
Bart puts the part on the cart.
Bart darts through the mart pushing the cart.
Bart puts jars, tarts, cards, and yarn in the cart.  
Bart loves to dart through the mart putting stuff in his cart.



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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.

2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.C: Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.