Helping your young reader master sight words


At-Home Supplemental Ideas & Parenting Tips and Strategies
a love for reading

They,” “said,” and “to” are just a few of the many words that can be tricky for young readers.  Learning to recognize sight words is an essential part of learning to read and the skill helps children become more fluent readers.  Looking at a list and memorizing works for some students; however, many students need a more hands-on approach to get those tricky words to sink in and become automatic. 

Here is a list of ideas and activities that you can do with your young reader at home to help her learn her sight words. 

  1. Focus on three or four words at a time.  Too many words can be overwhelming. 
  2. Put the words on notecards around the house.  She has to read the word before she can open the door to go outside or before opening the refrigerator/cupboard to get a snack. 
  3. Play tic-tac-toe with the words you are working on.  Fill the board with words and before playing her X or O, she has to read the word in the space she wants to play in. 
  4. Hunt for the words in books as you read together at night.  For example, see how many times you can find the word “the.” 
  5. Make the sight words out of playdough and practice reading them. 
  6. Write the words in shaving cream. 
  7. Play sight word Go Fish.  Using small index cards write down the sight words you are working on.  Make two cards for each word.  Play like Go Fish asking your partner for a word to make a match. 
  8. Put the sight words onto small pieces of paper.  Do not fold the paper.  Put all of the pieces into a small container.  Shake the container and then dump out all of the sight word pieces onto a flat surface.  Have your child read the words that fell face-up only.  The words that are face-down do not have to be read.  Put all word pieces back in and do it again and again. 
  9. Build the words with scrabble tiles making your own scrabble game where the words build off other words. 
  10. Put magnetic letters on the refrigerator and have your student build words and read them to you.   

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