Take a Car to a Star


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • car
  • far
  • jar
  • scar
  • tar
  • star
  • bar


  • Chairs set up as a pretend car (or children pretend to be in a car)
  • Star graphic (see below)
  • Star cards placed out in a trail to follow as they drive (see below)
  • Letter cards for word blending and manipulating (see below)
  • Start Your Car target text (see below)
  • Follow a Star target text (see below)

State and model the objective 
Tell the children that they will follow a star in a car and they will read and write words spelled with -ar: car, far, jar, scar, tar, star.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Follow stars in a car
    • Set out the star cards with ?ar words in a trail for the children to follow while driving a pretend car.
    • Show them the large star graphic (see below) and tell them they will follow a path of stars.
    • Have the children read the word on each star card then act out the word:
      • start the car: get in a pretend car and drive to each star along the path
      • snack bar: buy a pretend snack
      • candy bar: pass out pretend or paper candy bars
      • salad bar: pass out pretend or paper lettuce
      • cookie jar: pass out pretend or paper cookies
      • handle bar: move the handle bars of a pretend bike
      • sticky tar: pretend to walk through sticky tar
      • near and far: stand near to another child then far from the child
      • star scar: trace a pretend scar in the shape of a star
      • Are you a star?: stand with arms and legs stretched out like a star

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 beginning or ending consonants:
      • Change the beginning sound(s): car --> far; scar--> star; bar--> jar; tar --> char
      • Change the ending sound: art --> arm; dark --> dart; hard --> harm
  • Read target words in texts
    • Engage the children in reading the target text Start Your Car (see below) together with the group. 
    • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with -ar.
    • Read the text again fading support.
    • Repeat with the target text Follow a Star (see below).
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a paper and pencil and let them write words from dictation: car, star, jar, far, scar, bar, tar, start. Let them write about what they did during the activity (e.g., We are in a car following a star. We see a snack bar. We get a candy bar. We move a handle bar. We stand near and far. We have a star scar. We walk through tar).

SEEL Target Texts

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Follow a Star

Let's get in the car.
We'll take the car to a snack bar.
We'll follow the star.
We go far in our car to get to the snack bar.
When we get to the snack bar we find a salad bar.
When we get to the snack bar we find a cookie jar.
When we get to the snack bar we find a candy bar.
When we get to the snack bar we find a granola bar.

Start Your Car

Start your car.
Follow the star.
Go far in your car.
Get to a snack bar.
Find a candy bar at the snack bar.
Find tarts and sweet tart candy at the snack bar.
Find a cookie jar at the snack bar.
Eat from the salad bar at the snack bar.
Drive back home but watch out for the tar!



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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.