Sight words are the words that children need to recognize immediately in text. Knowing these easy words on sight can help children read faster and help their fluency, too.
Sight words often include the most common words that are peppered throughout stories like “I,” “me,” “the,” “we,” etc. Colors and numbers also are often a part of sight word lists.
The lists of mandatory sight words change by grade. Some children breeze through their lists, while others may struggle with memorization. Want to help children tackle their list? Here are 10 sight words activities to help your kids read faster, master those sight words…and have fun!
Sight Word Flash Cards
For some children, memorization may require skill and drill techniques. This means that parents go over the list repetitively until children show that they have memorized and mastered each word on sight.
However, skill and drill is not just about encouraging a child to memorize a rote list of words. Sight words appear randomly in context, and children can’t memorize words in order with the understanding that ‘the’ is the third word in the list.
Instead, they need to be able to see the word anywhere and recognize it immediately. To help children memorize and recognize each word randomly, parents can make flashcards for each sight word.
Every day, parents can go through the cards to help children practice their word identification. Parents should shuffle cards each time to ensure that children aren’t just recalling the words in chronological order.
Sight Word Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of all the sight words and take children on a sight word scavenger hunt. For this game, children need to match the word on their list with the same word.
When children find a sight word, they can say it and scratch it off their list. This is a fun game to play in grocery stores or out on errands.
Stuck at home during a rainy or snowy day? Have children take a sight word scavenger hunt in a room in the home. Encourage them to find their sight words in their room, the kitchen or in magazines.
Sight Word Matching
Play a fun matching game with sight words. Parents will need to make two cards for each sight word. Then randomly spread them on the floor or a table. Take turns flipping over two cards until all the matched words are discovered.
Sight Word Go Fish
Sight Word Go Fish is really easy to create and play. Since there are only 52 cards in Go Fish, parents will need to randomly select 13 different sight words on their child’s list. To help children master all their words, parents can create multiple sight word decks, though.
This game is played like the typical Go Fish card game. Players need to match four of the same cards, and if they ask for a card that another player isn’t holding they have to pick from the deck.
Parents should make sure they shuffle their sight word deck thoroughly!
Sight Word Bingo
Create Bingo cards with those sight words and play Sight Word Bingo. The site Sight Words provides all the instructions for making this game. Encourage the whole family to play!
Sight Word Races
How fast can children identify those words? Hold sight word races! Make two cards of each sight word. Parents will hold a deck of all the words and spread the rest out face up on the floor.
Parents will randomly select a word from the deck and children will have to find the word in front of them. See how fast children can grab the right words…and help them try to beat their time!
Sight Word Twister
Grab a Twister game and mark those circles with different sight words! Or create a unique sight word floor mat using fabric or other material. Parents can make a spinner that’s marked with different sight words…or just use the original game spinner!
The site Littlest Bookworms offers more details on how to create this fun game! Have everyone play!
Sensory Sight Words
Use clay or even sand to encourage children to write sight words and identify them. Parents can say the word aloud and help children craft those words. This is a great tactile play activity!
Sight Word App Games
There are many game-based apps available via Google Play and the App Store that can help children identify and master those sight words. Some games may include a flashcard type style, but others may be unique in their game play.
Parents can do a quick search for ‘sight words games’ and explore their options. Many are free!
Some children may struggle with all aspects of reading; they may have difficulty mastering their sight words and sounding out other words, too. Parents may be looking for help beyond just sight word activities.
While private tutors could help children who struggle with reading, some parents may find that private tutors are simply beyond their budget. Prices for tutors could vary.
When tutors aren’t an option and games simply don’t provide enough enrichment or one-on-one assistance for a struggling reader, parents may research different online reading programs. There are many different lesson-based reading programs; some focus on one aspect of literacy (like comprehension) while others may be multi-modal in their approach.
Readability provides lesson-based instruction that helps children with all aspects of literacy. Readability includes a built-in AI tutor that helps children during their reading lessons. The AI tutor is programmed with voice recognition software and learns to understand each child’s voice.
When a child struggles to read a word during a lesson, the AI tutor will help guide them. In addition, the tutor also will ask questions at the end of each book or story to test a child’s understanding about what they read.
While the tutor provides help, it also begins to understand the child’s mastery of both reading fluency and comprehension. This helps Readability ensure that children read at the level that is best for them.
Children only advance to the next reading level when the program determines that they have exhibited mastery in both reading fluency and comprehension. Children don’t automatically move ahead just because they have read a certain number of books at a specific reading level.
Readability also is designed so that stories aren’t underwhelming or boring to a child. Books are designed to engage and are age appropriate. An older child won’t read stories designed for a younger child.
Readability’s stories and books also include interactive features and colorful illustrations. Too much text can overwhelm a struggling reader, and stories and books on the program don’t include big paragraph blocks.
Parents may wonder, though, if the program helps children who are struggling with sight words. Readability focuses on all aspects of literacy, and this means that children will read stories that include those must-know words throughout the text.
As children read stories through Readability, they will receive plenty of exposure to their sight words. And if they struggle, the AI tutor can help them.
Children also can explore individual words by highlighting them or clicking them in the story. The program will show the word’s definition to help children expand their vocabulary and their word bank.
Parents of struggling readers may research different programs for their child. One of the best ways to discover if the program is a good fit for a child’s needs is by trying it out.