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Beginning Sight Words for Learning Readers

Updated on September 16, 2012

Sight Words Are Most Of What We Read

Sight words are the most common words in the English Language.
Sight words are the most common words in the English Language. | Source

Rockin Sight Words Video

Sight Words For Pre-K Beginning Readers

This is the Dolch list for Pre-K Readers.

A And Away Big Blue Can

Come Down Find For Funny Go

Help Here I In Is It Jump Little Look

Mate Me My Not One Play Red Run

Said See The Three To Two Up

Where We Yellow You

What Are Sight Words?

What are sight words, you may be asking yourself. They are the hundreds and thousands of words that a well read individual can recognize on sight. Think about it, how many words are endlessly repeated in books, magazines and advertising? Many of these words are so familiar to us that they are recognizable instantly and on sight. In order for new and learning readers to develop good skills, increase speed and improve comprehension it is important for them to learn to recognize as many sight words as possible. The more words you know on sight the less time you spend trying to sound them out and figure their meanings. I consider myself well read and I still encounter words that I must slow down for.

Sight Words

Roughly half of all reading texts are written with the same 100 words, these include words like "a", "in", "and" and "for". They also include commonly encountered words like "laugh", "white" and "together". Beginning readers must sound out each word as they come to it, often losing the thread of the story. When you think about all the words that are not spelled according to the basic rules trying to sound out words in order to read can be cumbersome. By recognizing sight words readers can focus on what is being said in the text and the messages conveyed versus figuring out what each word is.

The Dolch List Of Kindergarten Sight Words

Sight Words For Kindergarten Age Beginning Readers

All Am Are At Ate Be Black Brown But

Came Did Do Eat Four Get Good Have

He Into Like Must New No Now On

Our Out Please Pretty Ran Ride Saw

Say She So Soon That There They

This Too Under Want Was Well

Went What White Who Will With Yes

Learning To Read With Sight Words

E.W. Dolch has done a lot of work in identifying and organizing sight words for beginning readers. While any word can become a sight word is read often enough he wanted to determine the most commonly used sight words in children's books. He came up with a list of over 320 words that young readers should learn as they progress in their studies. These include over 200 "service" words and about 100 frequently used nouns. The list is based on the frequency of word use with the most frequently used at the top of the list. his study came out in 1936 and includes some dated examples. Another leading researcher of reading and word use is Diane McGinness. Her research is more recent and she estimates that there are about 100 or so sight words commonly used in the english language. Regardless of the number it is easy to understand how learning to recognize sight words is invaluable to a young reader.

Sight Word Reading List For 1st Graders

In first grade the sight words progress to more descriptive words. In pre-k and kindergarten the focus was on basic connections with words like red, yellow, one and two.

After Again An Any As Ask

By Could Every Fly From

Give Giving Had Has Her

Him His How Just Know

Let Live May Of Old Once

Open Over Put Round Some

Stop Take Thank Them

Then Think Walk Were When

Dr. Suess And Sight Words

Dr. Suess is one of the best know and most well-loved children's author. His books are vibrantly illustrated, are filled with fantastic stories and are great sight word books for young readers.

Theodore S. Geisel was a noted poet, illustrator and cartoonist as well as a children's author. He published books under several pen names including Dr. Suess. As Dr. Suess he published over forty well loved books. He was known to be obsessively focused on each book, working on each one for up to a year or more in some cases. His passion for poetry and his repetitive use of sight words make him a leading source of sight words literature for young readers.

Tips For Teaching Sight Words

  • Flash Cards - Flash cards are a great way to teach sight words in a group setting. They are also very portable and can be taken home by the students to study. Have them make their own sets of flash cards as an added reinforcement.
  • Word Search Puzzles - Having to find sight words out of a page full of letters is a great way to reinforce sight word learning. Students will learn to recognize the word as a whole, helping them read them clearly in sentences.
  • Sight Words Games - There are hundreds of ways to play sight words games with young readers. YouTube is a great source and free!

The Dolch 220 Sight Words

The Dolch word list is actually broken up into two separate lists. The first, known as the Dolch 220 is a list of "service" words. These are the non-nouns and are broken up into to groups based on which grade level should be learning which words. The second list is all the common nouns found in english children books. The list is broken up over the course of 5 years ranging from pre-school through the third grade.

How Sight Words Differ From Phonetic Reading

Sight words are a "whole" word approach to reading. With whole word reading children are taught to read the words as complete units rather than to recognize parts of words and then link them together. According to most research whole word reading is not very successful but is still used to some extent in schools today. Despite the lack of evidence supporting the use of sight words it is still a good idea to learn to recognize as many words as possible. The Dolch 220 is a good place to start and should be built upon as the child moves past the Dolch list.

The Dolch Word List For Third Grade Readers

The Dolch list ends with the third grade but learning new sight words should continue on as readers progress. The more sight words a reader knows the greater the readers comprehension.

About Better Bring Carry Clean

Cut Done Draw Drink Eight

Fall Far Full Got Grow Hold

Hot Hurt If Keep Kind Laugh

Light Long Much Myself Never

Only Own Pick Seven Shall

Show Six Small Start Ten

Today Together Try Warm

Sight Words For Second Grade Readers

As readers progress the sight word list progresses. Each word helps young early readers add depth and detail to the ideas and stories they are reading about.

Always Around Because Been Before

Best Both Buy Call Cold Does Don't

Fast First Five Found Gave Goes

Green Its Made Many Off Or Pull

Read Right Sing Sit Sleep Tell

Their These Those Upon Us

Use Very Wash Which Why

Wish Work Would Write You


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