Developing a strong sight word vocabulary is an important part of learning to read. It is especially important for children with learning disabilities in basic reading and those who cannot use phonics skills to decode words.
The E. W. Dolch word list was developed in the 1930’s as a tool for teachers to use in teaching children words that occur with high frequency in early reading materials. The Dolch list is still widely used today, and it remains a good resource for teaching sight word vocabulary:
- Pre-primer words for preschoolers and toddler picture books
- Kindergarten level words
- First grade level words
- Second grade level words
- Third grade level words
Sometimes it takes a variety of creative ways to encourage reluctant readers, especially children with learning disabilities. Keep it fun and entertaining, and you’ll help reduce your child’s anxieties and teach them along the way.
There are many ways to teach these sight words to young children. One of the most frequently used strategies is to simply read to toddlers and touch the words with your finger as they appear in the books. Infants and toddlers, of course, will not be able to read these words independently, but you can show them the words as you read, and they will learn them receptively.
There is also some evidence that young children can learn sight words using flashcards. If you choose to use flashcards, it is important to pair them with photos of the words if possible. This helps children learn the written word and the concept it represents at the same time.
Pre-Primer Level Words:
a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, hers, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to two, up, we, yellow, and you.
Print the four sheets of words on a colored printer. It’s better to use the hard stock, which will prolong the usage. Cut out along the black lines and you are left with colorful flashcards filled with sight words. Have fun!