My youngest child found learning to read was such hard work! Sometimes she needed to sip some water, breath hard, cuddle a soft toy while she battled on … It was not easy learning to read!
Teaching sight words is a very important and helpful tool to make reading easier.
Sight words = often also called high frequency sight words, are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. (Definition – Wikipedia)
Sight words often cover almost half the reading material on a page. By memorizing sight words, a child can recognize and recall these words and do not need to decode or break up and sound out every letter.
With all the smaller, ‘easier’ sight words ‘jumping’ out the page, it leaves the rest of the words on the page to decode which requires much less stress and less effort to read the page.
What sight words does my junior child need to know?
I’ve compiled this list using recommended words from Ruth Beechick’s book A Home Start In Reading (pg.15,16) [I highly recommend her Home Start Series!] and Sonlight reader’s sight words:
sounds the same
These are sight word games we play:
- snap – match same words (instant recognition)
- winning cards – if she reads them without any help or sounding out – she keeps the card (and gets rich!)
- grabbing hanging words off the line – finding the word I read aloud as quickly as possible
- sight word hop-scotch – jumping on the correct word on the floor
- group same sound/ spelling words
- throwing bean bags on the word on the floor in front of her as she sounds them out (upper body work out if she is lying over a gym ball and holding herself up on her hands while I hold her legs – as in wheelbarrow stance)
- sight word sit ups – she lies on her back (on the floor or on a gym ball) with the word, rolls up to say it and give it to me (I’m holding her feet)
- sight word direction game – read the word aloud and put it left/right/front/back according to the arrow chart I point to (helps improve spatial awareness which helps prevent reversals in reading – d/b or t/f)
You’ll notice that I’m sneaky ~ we play physical games to increase muscle tone and upper body strength. This also improve posture and handwriting skills. (Ask your local occupational therapist for more ideas if your child needs help in these areas.)
You can download this word wall here ~ Mini Office Lapbook
Practice makes good readers – practice these sight word activities daily until mastered!