Park Your Car


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel spelling -ar (e.g., car, farm, shark).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • car
  • jar
  • start
  • far
  • park
  • star


  • Masking tape, chalk, or long strips of paper to create a straight racetrack 
  • START sign to place at the beginning of the racetrack (see sign below)
  • Parking lot graphic (see below)
  • Cards with phrases and marks (see below) placed periodically along the center of the racetrack 
  • Word cards (see below) placed in a jar
  • A toy car or smooth block to serve as a car 
  • I Parked My Car target text (see below)

State and model the objective 
Tell the children that they will race a car to a barn at a farm. Tell them they will read and write words spelled with -ar: car, jar, start, farm, barn, park, star, scarf, shark, dart, far, card, hard, arm, smart.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Park by a mark
    • Make a straight race track using strips of paper, chalk lines, or masking tape.
    • Tape the cards with marks and phrases (see below) periodically along the center of the racetrack with the "not so far" mark taped close to start and "far away star" mark taped close to the end.
    • Tape down a START sign (see below) at the beginning of the race track and tape the parking lot (see graphic below) at the end of the racetrack. 
    • Let the children push their car then watch it roll or slide down the racetrack until it stops.
    • Have the children park their car at the mark closest to where their car ended up and have them read the word or phrase on the mark.
    • Discuss which cars went far and which cars didn't go so far. 
    • Have the children end the race by parking all of the cars in the parking lot (see below) at the end of the track.
  • Park at a snack bar
    • Read the target text I Parked My Car (see below) with the children.
    • Have the children act out the story by pretending to drive a car to a snack bar, a salad bar, a dark park, and their backyard. 
  • Pick -ar words from a jar
    • Divide the children into pairs. 
    • Have one child from each pair choose a word card out of the jar and read the word on the card.
    • Have the other child write the word.
    • Let the partners switch and repeat the activity until all words are drawn from the jar.

Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Read target words in texts
    • Engage the children in reading the target text I Parked My Car (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: car, jar, start, farm, barn, park, star, scarf, shark, dart, far, card, hard, arm, smart. Let them write about what they did with a car (e.g., I parked my car at the snack bar. I got the word dart from a jar. I parked by a mark.)

SEEL Target Texts

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I Parked My Car

I start my car at the start of the day.
I drive my car but not too far. 
I go as far as the snack bar.
I drive again and park at a salad bar.  
I drive some more until it is dark.
I park my car at the city park. 
I drive again and park in my back yard.
What a day of driving and parking my car!



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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.