Guest Author - Mary Ann Graziani
Dolch sight words are a list of pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, verbs and 95 nouns which repeatedly occurred in children's books. The words are divided up by different grade levels made up of word lists that were found most commonly in the different childrenís grade level books. The lists do not represent levels of difficulty; they indicate the frequency with which the words are found in written material. Children should know the words by the end of first grade but they should continue to be reinforced up to third grade.
It is important to know Dolch words because these words can help students avoid the frustration of trying to sound out words that simply do not follow the phonics decoding rules. Phonics are very important, but it is useless to try to sound out sight words that canít be sounded out.
Another reason Dolch words are important is because they are everywhere! Most of the Dolch words will be in anything that we read. From 50-75% of all words used in school books, library books, newspapers, and magazines are in the Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary of 220 words (preschool thru Grade 3). If students know these words, they will know many of the words in whatever they are trying to read. These small successes help build confidence in reading.
Dolch words are often the guideposts for comprehension of entire sentences because they can be recognized instantly which allows for smooth reading. This is why Dolch words are also called sight words, because many of them can't be sounded out and students just have to remember how "sight words" look.
A good way to learn sight words are by playing fun games with the words. Here are a couple of fun games to play with children to help them learn their sight words:
SIGHT WORD MEMORY GAME
Make copies of the flash cards so that you have two sets. Use both
sets to play the sight word memory game. Choose flash cards that
the child has been taught and find their pairs. Mix them up and lay
them face down on the table. Each player takes a turn flipping the
cards up. If they get a pair they have to use that word in a sentence
in order to keep that match. If they canít make a sentence with the
word then the other player gets a chance to make a sentence with the
word. If the other player is successful in making a sentence then they
keep the pairs, if not, no one gets the pairs. If a player gets a match
and makes a sentence they get another turn. The player with the
most matches wins the game.
TIC TAC TOE SIGHT WORD GAME
Children can play tic tac toe, on paper, board, or dry erase board.
Taking turns, give the student a sight word to spell. Before a student
can place an "x" or an "o" on the grid, he or she must spell a sight
word correctly. If they canít spell correctly they miss their turn and it
goes to the other person.
220 SIGHT WORDS BY GRADE LEVEL IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
a, I, me, to, up, we, my, go, in, is, it, for, see, the, red, run, you, not, one, and, two, can, big, away, blue, come, down, find, help, here, jump, look, make, play, said, three, where, yellow, funny, little
so, do, be, am, he, at, no, on, our, out, new, now, yes, ate, did, eat, but, all, get, ran, are, was, well, saw, who, will, too, say, she, came, four, good, have, into, like, they, want, went, what, this, with, must, ride, soon, that, black, brown, there, under, white, please, pretty
First Grade Words
an, of, as, by, any, ask, had, has, her, him, his, fly, let, put, how, may, old, just, once, know, open, some, stop, take, live, them, when, then, over, from, give, walk, were, could, every, thank, think, after, again, round, giving
Second Grade Words
or, us, use, buy, why, its, call, off, pull, tell, sit, been, best, both, cold, wish, does, don't, fast, sing, work, five, gave, your, made, upon, very, wash, many, read, goes, first, green, right, sleep, their, these, those, write, which, before, would, found, always, around, because
Third Grade Words
if, six, far, got, try, full, cut, ten, own, hot, fall, warm, done, show, pick, grow, kind, hold, hurt, keep, draw, long, much, about, small, bring, carry, clean, drink, eight, laugh, light, better, never, only, seven, shall, start, today, myself, together
baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother
cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow
day, dog, doll, door, duck
farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower
game, garden, girl, good-bye, grass, ground
hand, head, hill, home, horse, house
man, men, milk, money, morning, mother
name, nest, night
paper, party, picture, pig
rabbit, rain, ring, robin
Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun
table, thing, time, top, toy, tree
watch, water, way, wind, window, wood