Sight Words

Sight words are frequently encountered words that can’t be sounded out – words like the, a, is, of, to, in, and, I, you, and that.  Because they can’t be sounded out or illustrated with pictures, it’s important that children learn to recognize these words on sight.  Because of this, sight word instruction should be an integral part of reading instruction in kindergarten through third grade.  If you’re a parent, you may not see the phrase “sight words” on your child’s spelling list homework but undoubtedly these words are mixed in with others.

Words on the “Dolch”  List are the most commonly taught sight words in early elementary grades. The lists were developed by Edward Dolch who determined that there are 220  common words that appear at a high frequency in reading material.  In fact,  over more than half of the most commonly used words are found on the the Dolch word lists.

A Guide to Sight Words

The following articles are designed to get you up and running with the basics of sight words and effective sight word instruction.

1.  What are sight words?

2.  Benefits of teaching sight words

3.  Teaching sight words – strategies for reading success

4.  Grade level application of Dolch sight words

5.  4th grade sight word instruction

Sight Word Worksheets

1. Printable Dolch Worksheets including practice sheets, wordsearch puzzles, flash cards, cloze worksheets, and word shape worksheets

There are many other important elements to reading instruction so it’s important to keep this in mind when teaching sight words. Reading aloud, guided reading, independent reading, etc. are all important elements that will yield the most reading success! Sight word recognition is a critical piece of this but must be accompanied by other balanced literacy strategies.