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Cart at the Mart
Target text


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

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • bar
  • cart
  • mart
  • part
  • card
  • park


  • Cart graphic
  • Empty box
  • Paper towel tube 
  • Word cards 
  • Word-building cards
  • Story-prompt pictures
  • A Cart at the Mart target text

State and Model the Objective
The children will pretend to push a cart at a mart and then read and write words spelled with -ar, such as mart, cart, smart, part, and hard.
Literacy Activities
Help fix a cart at the mart

  • Show the children a cart graphic with and without a missing part.
  • Let a box be the cart and a paper towel tube be the missing cart handle.
  • Read and act out the A Cart at the Mart target text:
    • Start out in a mart with a cart that has a missing part.
    • Park the cart, find the missing part, and put the part back on the cart.
    • Dart through the mart and put things in the cart (e.g., jars, tarts, cards, yarn).

Find -ar words at the mart

  • Place word cards around the room.
  • Have the children take turns as they pretend to dart around with an imaginary cart to collect a card.
  • Let the children read their word cards and place them in your cart.
  • When all of the word cards have been collected, have the children take turns using their finger to circle the -ar on the cards.

Write a story using target words

  • Help the children build a word wall of -ar words from the story of the cart with a missing part (e.g., cart, mart, part).
  • Have the children sit in groups of four with a set of story-prompt pictures.
  • Invite the children to put the pictures in order to tell the story of the cart with the missing part (e.g., Which picture goes at the start?).
  • Let each child choose a picture to write a sentence or two about, using as many -ar words as they can and underlining the -ar words.
  • Have each group share their story with another group as they hold up their pictures and read their sentence(s).

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • With word-building cards, 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 Cart at the Mart target text with you.
  • Have the children make a star around each word that is spelled with -ar.
  • Read the text again, fading support.

Write and dictate target words

  • Have the children get into pairs.
  • Make a list of -ar words that were used throughout the lesson with the children. 
  • Let the children take turns spelling out an -ar word from the list to their partner while the other child writes the word down.

SEEL Target Texts

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A Cart at the Mart

I went to a mart and got a cart.
I started to push the cart, but the cart almost fell apart.
The cart was missing a part!
I parked the cart and looked for the part to push the cart. 
I found the part and put it back on the cart.
Now I can dart through the mart and put stuff in my cart.
I put jars, tarts, cards, and yarn in the cart.
I love to dart through the mart and put stuff in my cart!



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