Sight words are the most common words found in texts, and for a child who is learning to read, being able to quickly recognize and recall these words is critical to becoming a fluent reader.
When a child can read the words ‘by sight’, they’re more easily able to focus on comprehension as well as applying their decoding strategies to words less frequently encountered.
Finding multisensory ways to learn the sight words, also known as high-frequency words, more easily helps children to learn them.
Our team of Toronto English tutors shared over eleven, fun and effective activities, families can play at home that will help children know these words at a glance.
To get started with the below activities, first, you’ll need to find the sight words. Your child’s teacher may have provided a list during the school year, otherwise, download the Fry or Dolch list as a helpful starting point.
Then, starting with twenty words at a time, write down each sight word on an index card. Do this twice so you have a pair of cards for each word. Shuffle the cards and choose a different activity every day to build early literacy skills.
- Play Go Fish using the sight word cards. Make it a family affair!
- Visit the Dollar Store to pick up a magnetic alphabet set.
- Grab the chalk and head outdoors for a sidewalk spelling bee.
- Bend pipe cleaners to form letters and combine to make words.
- Write a sight word on a piece of paper. Take turns tracing it over with different coloured markers or crayons.
- Spell words aloud in silly voices (e.g., Spell ‘said’ in a silly voice)
- Draw a hopscotch grid outside. Fill in each square with a sight word.
- Fill a bin with dried beans. Toss in the set of alphabet letters. Choose a sight word card and then hunt through the bin for the correct letters.
- Form body words. Use arms and legs to make each letter.
- Write a sight word on an index card. Cut it up so the letters are separate. Mix them up and try to spell the word.
- Roll out playdough-it’s the perfect material for building a sight word vocabulary:
- Golf tees and toothpicks easily carve out words
- Stamp magnetic alphabet letters down into the playdough
- Create a pile of thin strips of playdough. Use each strip to form a letter and build words