16 July 2014

How to Teach Sight Words: Ideas and Activities

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Sight words are so important in helping little ones learn to read! After learning about 200 words, a reader will know over half of the most common words in English! That's so amazing to me.  Since many of the words do not follow the normal phonics rules, it's best to learn them by memorizing. Easier said than done for most kids!

I feel that teaching in a way that appeals to all different learning styles (visual, auditory, logical, physical, social) is the best approach when teaching sight words! Make it fun, make it engaging, and watch your kids grow into amazing readers!  Here are some ideas to get started:
  • Have students look through books they are familiar with and find sight words. Start by focusing on one word at a time and make tally marks each time they find it!

Check out some best selling sight word books HERE

  • Try playing a matching game. It's simple to make with some construction paper cut in squares, then write 2 of each sight word you are practicing. Mix them up, turn them over, and take turns with a partner turning 2 over and trying to make a match.

  • Give students a mix of cards with sight words and pictures and have them create sentences. They can just play around with making and reading sentences, or take it a step further and copy their sentences onto paper.

  • Get them moving by playing games! Get some fly swatters (clean of course), have a list of words on the floor, and have kids smack the word as you call it out! Or try putting words on the wall and have students try and hit the correct word with a ball.

  • Practice writing sight words with different mediums: paint with water on concrete or a chalkboard, use real paint on paper, draw in sand, cornmeal, or shaving cream, make the words with playdough or stickers.

  • Do something unique and fun, like these dot marker mystery pictures! These best sellers are a hit with students and teachers alike! These are perfect for students who are bored or tired of other reading activities.
Sight Word Practice- Dot Marker Mystery Picture ActivitiesSight Word Practice - Dot Marker Mystery Picture Activities SET 2
  • Fill the chalkboard or whiteboard with sight words, then have kids erase the words as you say it. Split the board into 2 sides and make it a contest. Anything is more engaging when it's a competition!

  • There are a ton of resources available that are great for practicing and reviewing sight words. One of my favorites that I'm using right now with my kindergartener is my Sight Words Sentence Practice pack. It gives her practice with the words in the context of sentences, and it starts from the beginning and builds on itself, so she always feels successful! You can get a couple of these practice pages in this free download!
                                                  Sight Words Sentence Practice Freebie

 FREE Sight Words Sentence Practice