When our grandson started second grade I was excited to see how much his reading had improved. This was especially significant because he’s a visual learner and had struggled, so we invested a lot of time and energy on kindergarten and first grade sight words and it was exciting to see the pay off! We were a little unsure when we started our sight word adventure, but we made it fun and all learned a lot along the way.
Sight words are common words that your early reader will encounter when they read. The more familiar they are with these words, the easier a time they’ll have learning to read. Mastering sight words is especially significant for visual learners because they don’t do as well with phonics. And while they’ll still need to use phonics to sound out words, they learn best by seeing and remembering whole words and sight words are perfect for this kind of learning.
Keep reading to download the Kindergarten through Third Grade Sight Words lists
Here are some things you can do to help your early reader master sight words:
Write them out – Kids learn by seeing and doing, especially visual kids. To get started learning sight words, write 3 to 5 words on a page and have your child copy those same words several times each. Reading and writing them will build visual and muscle memory. Work on the same words several days in one week and move on to new words the next week. Download our writing paper for a great place to start.
Use them in a sentence – Be sure your child knows what the words mean. You don’t have to consult Webster’s dictionary for the definition of sight words, but do have them use the word in a sentence or two to be sure they understand them. This is especially important when it comes to words that sound the same but are spelled differently, like there and their.
Make Word Flashcards – Visual kids remember what they see. Make flashcards with sight words by writing the words, one at a time, on 3×5 white index cards. Use colored markers, so they’re attractive and even more engaging. Place the cards in a special box or basket of their choice, so they’re close at hand for frequent, no stress practice. Watch this video for a great way to make and use sight words flashcards.
Play Games – Learning is supposed to be fun so once you have bright colorful words on cards, play some games with them. Have your child practice looking at the words, just a few each day, being intentional about taking a mental picture. As they build experience and memory, shuffle the deck and have them read them back to you. Make up silly sentences using small groups of words. Take turns saying each word in a silly voice. Write two cards for each word so you can play ‘Go Fish’. Have a sight word scavenger hunt.
Review regularly – Learning anything takes time and practice. There are almost 100 words on each of the sight word lists. Don’t try to do them all at once! Take your time. Patience aids mastery. Stretch it out over the school year. Mix it up. Do some writing. Make flashcards. Play games. Make it fun but stay at it!
Sight word practice is great for young readers, but making words visual is a powerful learning aid for kids of any age. It even works for adults. Download the sight words lists that we’ve compiled for you and get started.