Lesson Plan

Word Study: Understanding R-Controlled Vowel Combinations

Your students will love playing the game, “Race to the Farm” while also practicing how to decode and pronounce words that contain R-controlled vowel combinations.
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to decode and sort /ar/ and /or/ R-controlled vowel patterns within words.


(10 minutes)
Race to the Farm: A Bossy R Game
  • Gather students to the rug for the start of the lesson.
  • Show the class the five vowels written on the board, ask them what each short vowel sounds like. Say the short vowel sounds aloud together.
  • Ask the students if they remember the second sound each vowel makes, the long vowel sound. Say these sounds aloud together.
  • Ask them what makes vowels special. Answers might include, "Each letter makes two sounds," or "Vowels are sometimes silent within a word."
  • Say, "Today we are going to learn what happens when a vowel and the letter R meet. When a vowel is followed by the letter R, the vowel must change to a new sound. That’s why we call it the “bossy R."
  • In most short words with a vowel in the middle, the vowel sound is the short sound like in the words cat, fat, and fox. If we take the last letter of each word and change it to R, they become new words: car, far, and for. Ask your class: "Do you hear how the R makes the vowel sound change in each word?"
  • Play the "Bossy R" clip by The Electric Company using your classroom projector.