Making Reading Easier ~ Sight Words

Reading her sight word cards

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.

P1080354

Pegging sight words on a line – a good fine-motor activity to strengthen finger muscles which helps improve handwriting.

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:

a

ago

all

am

an

and

any

are

as

ask

at

b

be

been

best

black

blue

brown

but

by

c

call

can

cent

come

cry

d

day

did

do

does

dog

done

don’t

drink

e

eat

end

eight

even

ever

every

k

keep

kid

kind

knew

know

l

land             little

last             long

lay               look

led               lost

left

leg

lend

less

let

like

m

man

many

may

me

meet

men

met

much

must

my

n

need

never

next

nine

no

not

now

o

of

out

off

over

old

on

one

only

open

or

orange

our

p

pen

pet

pick

pink

play

please

pull

purple

put

q

quick

quiet

quite

r

ran

read

red

rest

ring

run

rush

s

sad               sit

said              six

same            so

sat               some

saw              stop

say               sun

see               she

set

seven

t

take

there

talk

they

tall

this

tell

three

ten

too

that

two

the

then

their

them

u

under

until

up

upon

us

use

w

water

when

we               where

weak

which

week

who

well

whom

went

why

were

with

wet             write

what

y

yellow

yes

you

yours

could

should

would

words that

sounds the same

to                  its

too                it’s

two               for

there            four

their

new

knew

its

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!

Blessings, Nadene
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