Lesson Plan

Phonics Lesson: The diagraph "ar"

This is a simple phonics lesson for teaching the diagraph "ar"
Grace C.
Classroom teacher
Frostburg State University
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning

Students will be enabled to:

  • Identify words which include the "ar" sound aurally 
  • Identify words which include the "ar" sound visually - by pointing out these letters in the word
  • Blend letters to read words which contain the "ar" sound
  • Segment words to spell words with the "ar" sound
  • Generate and spell their own words which contain the "ar" sound
  • Write words which contain the "ar" diagraph
English Language Arts
Grades K
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Free, Paid

The teacher will open the lesson with an informal brainstorming session about Pirates: 

  • What do Pirates look like?
  • What do Pirates do?
  • Where do Pirates live?
  • What do Pirates say?

Play the YouTube video "Pirates say AR!" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vywhf7cF7Q&t=6s).

Invite the children to add to or extend on any earlier points after having viewed the video - "What else have we learned about Pirates after looking at this video?"

Student Instructions

Students will: 

  • Engage in the brainstorming session about Pirates
  • Listen to their teachers's and classmates' comments and make their own comments
  • Watch the "Pirates say AR!" video
  • Expand on their previous comments and ideas after having viewed the video

2 Direct Instruction

Introduce the children to Pirate Pete (a puppet). Tell the children he cannot talk but he has written them a letter.  

Using an interactive whiteboard or a projector, the children will engage in shared reading of the letter displayed on the board with the teacher. They find out that the pirate has lost his  "AAAAARRR", which is his favorite thing to say. He requests the children's help in finding his AR again. 

Reread the letter which will be displayed on the interactive whiteboard. Challenge the children to:

  • Listen out for and identify words with the "ar" sound
  • Look for the diagraph "ar" in the letter and highlight it
  • Use their blending skills to determine the "ar" words found

The teacher will then use the Jolly Phonics app on the interactive whiteboard to teach blending of "ar" words in isolation. 

Student Instructions

The students will:

  • Engage in shared reading of Pirate Pete's letter on the whiteboard
  • Listen out for and identify "ar" words in the letter
  • Point to and highlight words which contain "ar" in the letter using interactive whiteboard tools
  • Blend to read "ar" words in the letter
  • Engage with the Jolly Phonics lesson by observing the teacher using direct instruction and applying what they have learned to read "ar" words as presented on the app.

3 Guided Practice

Following on from the direct instruction on blending using "ar" words,  the children will complete blending and segmenting activities under the guidance of the teacher using the Phonics Genius App.

The teacher will:

  • Model how to complete the blending and segmenting activities on this app
  • Invite individual children to complete the activities on the board, while the rest of the children watch.
  • Guide these individual students as they complete the activity on the board

*If the children all have access to iPads, they could be completing the same activity as is being displayed on the board, so that all of the class is working together.

Specific attention will be paid to "ar" words when using this app.


Student Instructions

The students will:

  • Observe as the teacher models how to use the Phonics Genius App
  • Complete a blending/segmenting activity using the Phonics Genius App on the interactive whiteboard, under the guidance of the teacher
  • Help their classmates complete the activity on the interactive whiteboard

4 Independent Practice

Children will engage in independent practice on personal or shared iPads using the listed apps. The aim of the independent practice time is to allow children to practice the skills of blending and segmenting, with a specific focus on "ar" words.

The class will be split into 4 groups during this time. 3 groups will be working on the apps listed below and one group will be working with the teacher to further develop their blending and segmenting skills using the Phonics Genius app. The teacher will use observation to determine which students are struggling and which students require a greater challenge when working on the Phonics Genius app. Groups will rotate to a different station to use a different app after a certain period of time (approx 5 minutes).

Montessori Crosswords

  • Segment to spell in order to complete the crossword

Hooked on Phonics

  • Practice blending to read skills 
  • Practice segmenting to spell

Alpha Writer Montessori

  • Segmenting to spell
  • Writing novel stories


Student Instructions

The students will:

  • Engage in independent practice: using their blending and segmenting skills to read and spell "ar" words on the listed apps.
  • Engage in individualized guided practice: work under the guidance of the teacher for a brief period to display their blending and segmenting skills.

5 Wrap up

Free, Paid

As an informal assessment at the end of the lesson, the children will use a lesson from the Quizlet app: https://quizlet.com/6252262/fresh-start-phonics-ar-flash-cards/

The teacher will model how to:

  • First complete the Test under the study tab (practicing segmenting to spell of "ar" words)
  • Play one of the games on the app accompanying  this lesson.
  • For the "Match" game, the teacher will model blending to read "ar" words and matching them to the correct picture.
  • For the "Gravity" game, the teacher will model how to quickly segment to spell "ar" words which are displayed on the falling meteors.

This activity will be used as an informal assessment. 

To conclude the lesson, the teacher will hand out slips of paper to each student to write any "ar" words they learned today (using segmenting to spell skill).

The children will proceed to feed all of these "ar" words into the month of the puppet Pirate Pete. Pete will eat all the words and thankfully gets his "AAAAARRRR" back!!

Student Instructions

The students will:

  • Observe the teacher as she models how to use the Quizlet app
  • Complete the segmenting to spell "Test" on the Quizlet app using a personal iPad 
  • Play the "Match" and "Gravitiy" game on the Quizlet app
  • Write their own "ar" words on a slip of paper and feed it to Pirate Pete.