It is undeniably difficult to learn to read. To develop fluent readers, a variety of abilities and tactics must be combined. Focusing on sight words is one of the first steps in helping our young pupils get started.
But, before we get into HOW to teach sight words and some sight word games, let’s first clarify what sight words are. What is the significance of teaching sight words?
What do you mean by sight words?
Believe it or not, at least half of all manuscripts include the same 100 words again and over again! These regularly used words are referred to as sight words.’ The majority of them are little and easily identified (I, is, the, and to), but some of them are difficult to pronounce or depict (like, from, what, good).
For terms like these, using phonics or picture-reading skills is inefficient for young readers, especially those who are still developing their decoding skills. As a result, we must learn these words “by sight.”
Why is it necessary to educate them?
It’s vital to educate children how to recall sight words in their entirety so that they may recognize them quickly (within 3 seconds) without needing to apply any decoding procedures. Consider how inconvenient it would be to read if you had to stop and sound out every single word!
Readers who have mastered sight words may grasp at least half of the words in any given text. Readers can focus on words that are less familiar and more challenging by eliminating the need to stop and interpret sight words.
Teaching sight words not only improves pupils’ reading fluency, but it also improves their writing efficiency.
What is the most effective method for teaching sight words?
You’d probably get five different replies if you asked this question to five different teachers. However, I believe we can all agree that making sight word learning exciting and hands-on is the best approach to engage young readers.
Using sight word activities such as games, centers, and hands-on manipulatives, your students will master abilities without even realizing it!
Make memorizing sight words a regular part of your reading block, and rotate exercises frequently. You’ll be astonished at how rapidly your young readers blossom if you set aside time for focused concentration on sight word study.
A handful of my favorite sight word activities are included below…
Activities for Sight Words
- Spelling sight words with magnetic letters is a simple, hands-on way for kids to practice reading and creating sight words. Simply write the words on flashcards and ask the pupils to put them together.
- Display the words on your white board so that students can build the words on your teaching board to make these types of sight word activities even more fun. This is also a fantastic center activity!
- Editable Sight Word Activities:
- Have you ever encountered a child who did not enjoy bubble gum or cookies? Neither do I! So why not leverage their fondness for food to help them practice sight words? Students build the word by reading the sight word on the card and using the theme letter cards.
All you need for this sight word activity is a fly swatter! This game is excellent for increasing speed while recognizing sight words. This game is suitable for both small and large groups. You’ll need to write a few sight words on the board to get the game started. Choose one student to participate. Have them swat a sight word that you’ve called out.
To make the activity more difficult, call two kids up and have them compete to see who can swat the sight word first. (This project might also be used to practice letters, numbers, and other concepts.)
Secret Code Sight Words:
One of my favorite sight word activities to liven up learning is Secret Code Sight Words. This game is always a hit since children are having so much fun cracking the code that they don’t realize they’re learning sight words at the same time. Students decode the code and spell a hidden sight word by identifying the initial sound of each picture. They make the word with dry erase markers, magnetic letters, or letter tiles, then read it.
The goal of Secret Code Sight Words is for pupils to build the word and then recognize the word they created.
Game of Flip and Read:
I first released this game as an alphabet game during the fall season. But I’m posting it again since you may use it to perfect any ability. It’s a hit with the youngsters, and it’s ideal for small gatherings.
You’ll also need manipulatives or little erasers, as well as themed shapes (such those from a die-cut machine). You’ll need to write a sight word on each of the themed shapes to get ready for this game.
Turn the shapes over to play the game. On each shape, place one or two manipulatives/game pieces. Students choose a shape, turn it over, and keep the manipulatives if they can read the sight word. Whoever has the most game pieces at the conclusion of the game wins!
This sight word activity is great for tactile (or hands-on) learners if you don’t mind a little mess. I also enjoy the smell of a classroom after a shaving creme activity. Simply spread a little amount of shaving creme on a baking sheet or a plastic plate for the pupils to write in.
You’ll call out a sight word, and pupils will write it in shaving crème with their fingers. Students can either walk around the class to check their work or put the word on the board for them to check their own work.
If this is your first time using shaving creme, you’ll want to have a quick class discussion about how to use it. There are three essential shaving creme rules that I follow.
- Students should not use shaving cream on their eyes or face.
- Students should use caution and avoid slamming their hands into the shaving crème.
- Last but not least, we have our own shaving cream. We don’t use shaving creme on others, and we don’t take shaving creme from our friends.
Find the Word:
Students will enjoy this activity since they will be able to utilize highlighters, which will keep them engaged! Give each pupil a magazine or newspaper page and ask them to highlight a sight word that you’ve chosen. Alternatively, use pages like the ones shown below.
Students read the goal sight word at the top of the page and then highlight the relevant words below with a highlighter (or bingo dabber). Over 130 no-prep pages are included in Find the Word.
Another simple center activity is a magazine hunt. Simply choose a sight word for pupils to practice. Give them a piece of blank paper to work with. Students will comb through publications in search of the sight word. They’ll cut it out and paste it on the blank paper after they’ve located it. (Just make sure to look over the magazines before handing them out to the students.)
Some of the best sight word games, like this one, involve no preparation or resources. Call out a sight word and have a student spell it out for you. Then have pupils raise their pointer finger and make large motions in the air to “write” the words.
To master sight words, as with everything else we teach our young students, it takes a lot of exposure and repetition. That is why I believe it is critical for us to have a variety of ideas up our sleeves. I hope these ideas provided you with some new and exciting ways to assist your young readers to grasp sight words.
Get set 1 from the link below.