Have you ever seen one of your students try to sound out a sight-word? They segment the sounds into parts, then blend them together perfectly only to find that the word doesn't make sense and neither does the sentence. That's because we all know that sounding out sight words does not work. These sight words, high-frequency words or popcorn words as they are often called because they pop up so frequently, all have one thing in common - they must be recognized upon sight, or memorization. There are so many ways to teach sight words. Here are a few things we do in class that work and that the kids really enjoy!
Playdough Sight Words
The kids just LOVE the playdough center. It is a favorite in our class! Each week I put out the sight words that we are focusing on for them to cover up with their 'spaghetti' dough. They roll the playdough into thin, long strips before applying it to the word. It's also great fine-motor practise! These activities are from my Playdough Literacy and Numeracy Mats Pack. It includes all uppercase and lowercase letters, all Pre-Primer and Primer Dolch Sight Words as well as numbers, colors and shapes.
So simple and so effective. The students enjoy manipulating the letters to form new words. I put out different colored or themed sight words which keeps them interested in this center since there is always something new there. We often use these when learning new sight words during Guided Reading.
Spot the Word Game
This is a simple game that requires only a flashlight and your sight words. We play this as a class and use the words from our Word Wall, or I put it out as a center for students to use on a table top. Students take turns spotting the word with the flashlight. Or have two flashlights and see who can spot the word first. I always use the configuration of the word on the word wall so students can see the shape of the word.
Stamping our Sight Words
The students have fun stamping our thematic words, but they also love to stamp in general, so this was the perfect way to help reinforce sight-words. This activity is from my Trace, Stamp, Write, Cut and Paste it. The picture is from my Part 1: Words edition, but I also have a Part 2: Sentences edition, for more of a challenge. All Dolch Pre-Primer and Primer words are included. The pages have the same lay-out so that once students are familiar with what to do, they can do it independently as a center activity.
Step on the Word Sight Word Game
This idea came from my retired K teacher mom. Thanks mom! Kids just love games that get them up and moving and this is one of them! Students do exactly what the game title says...step on the word! You can play one child at a time or in opposing teams (for a little healthy competition!) I've just uploaded it as a game to TPT with cute KPM Doodles sneaker clipart. The pre-primer Dolch sight word list is done, and I'm currently working on the other sight-word lists, so stay tuned!
It's so fascinating to see the students learn and memorize these words through repeated exposure to fun, engaging activities, centers and games! How do you teach sight words?