Sight words (also known as high-frequency words) are the words that most commonly appear in text. These are words our emergent readers are encouraged to learn to read by sight -- without having to stop and sound out or decode. Sight words are often taught by having students memorize or re-read words from a list, or through a series of worksheet activity. While these methods can be effective for some students, other students may seek a more creative or engaging approach.
I wanted to provide you with five fun ways to practice sight words with your child. These methods get your child reading, moving, and creating. Have fun helping your child learn to read these foundational words.
Sight Word Hunt
Whenever we are working on a new sight word, I have my child try to find it in whatever picture books we enjoy together. As we read, I have my child read the word we are working on whenever we find it in the text.
Stamp a Sight Word
My kids LOVE to play with stamps. The novelty of getting to use stamps and ink keeps them interested in their word work. Create a written list of the words your child is working on, and then using a set of alphabet stamps, have your child stamp each word, letter by letter.
Don’t have alphabet stamps? No problem! Have your child cut out letters from old magazines, the newspaper, etc.
Sight Words Readers
Sight words readers are wonderful for building the confidence of an emergent reader. These books are short in length, and typically have between 10-20 different words per book. As your child works through the books sequentially, he or she the opportunity to learn new sight words while continuing to practice previous words and word families.
There are many great sight word readers on the market -- for example, we like Bob Books.
Sight Word Bingo
My son loves to learn through games. Games help keep kids engaged, and reminds them that learning is FUN! To play sight word bingo, simply draw a 5x5 grid, or search for a blank bingo grid online. Write one word in each box on the grid. You may want to repeat words for younger children, or use a smaller grid.
This game can also be adapted to help older students with their spelling words. In addition to locating the correct word and covering it with a tile, ask your child to spell the word.
Sight Words Hopscotch
Sight word hopscotch is a fun and active way to help your emergent readers learn their sight words. Kids will commit sight words to memory while they PLAY and MOVE!
Draw a hopscotch grid on your sidewalk or driveway. Instead of marking each square with a number, write a sight word that your child is working on. When your child’s rock/beanbag lands on that square, have him/her attempt to read the word. As you continue to play the game, the words will become more committed to memory.
Bad weather day? Try an indoor version of sight word hopscotch with this DIY sight word ladder -- the concept stays the same and all you'll need is a roll of tape and flash cards.