Do you want your preschool child to become a fluent reader by just looking at words? Yes, kids can learn to read without reading each letter or phenomes. Instead, children can recognize and memorize some words by sight. These words are called sight words. In this article, you will learn what these are, some examples of sight words for preschool children, and how to teach them to your preschooler.
What are sight words?
When children start learning to read and write, they are taught by reading out each sound. However, not all words follow the six types of syllables or spelling rules. These words are called sight words.
Sight words are composed of “service” words or adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs. They are hard to decode using phonetics. So children are taught to recognize the letters and memorize them as a whole word by sight quickly, about three seconds, instead of reading every phoneme.
Sight words account for 75% of children’s reading materials. But don’t confuse these words as high-frequency words, as not all high-frequency words are sight words.
Knowing more sight words makes children read faster since they are not read but rather memorized.
Examples of Sight Words for Pre-K
You can find many examples of sight words for preschool children in many sources. However, the most popular sources are the Dolch Sight Words list. This list is named after Dr. Edward William Dolch. He first developed his list of sight words after studying the words that mainly occur in children’s books in the 1930s to 1940s. Below you can find 40 examples of sight words for pre k from Dolch list:
Preschool Dolch Sight Words
a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
5 Tricks to Teach Sight Words to Preschoolers
Teaching preschoolers to recognize and memorize a sight word can be challenging at first. After all, they don’t know much about letters and phonetics yet. However, these tricks below make learning sight words easier for preschoolers.
Start with the Shortest Words
The word I, which only comes with one letter, is the easiest sight word a preschooler will learn. Build up from this word and then move on to sight words with more letters. It’s easier to teach these sight words because only a few letters will complicate the sound of the words.
Use Kids’ Favorite Books
Dr. Edward Dolch came up with the idea of listing down sight words after finding out that the majority of words found in children’s books are repetitive. Using your kid’s favorite children’s book will encourage them to learn. You will expose them to many different sight words they can memorize. Since it is their favorite, they might have remembered the words from this book, even without looking at the letters that make up the words. Therefore, they only need to recognize the words instead of learning the sounds.
Make it Fun
Children learn well when they are having fun. For example, you can teach sight words through a game or attractive visual aids such as our language learning flashcards. Here are some games you can try to make learning sight words fun for preschoolers:
Shaving Cream Sight Words
This game is not just great for learning sight words but also for sensory play. To do this game:
- Spread shaving cream onto a tray.
- Write a sight word in the saving cream and teach the preschooler this word.
- Let the child erase the word with his hands and then spread more shaving cream and write the same word again until he can recognize the word by a glance.
Sight Word Bingo
Another fun activity for learning sight words is Sight Word Bingo. To do this:
- Prepare bingo cards with sight words introduced to preschoolers and a box with the exact sight words written on paper.
- Give each child a bingo card and a pen.
- Take out one sight word from the box and read it out loud. When the children find the same sight word from their bingo card, have them mark it using their pen. When they have covered sight words in a diagonal, vertical, or horizontal row, they should shout Sight Word Bingo.
Reading and language learning can accelerate when preschoolers have lots of sight words in their arsenal. This can help them focus more on comprehending each word instead of how it sounds.
Dolch Sight Words List | Sight Words: Teach Your Child to Read
What Are Sight Words? Get the Definition Plus Teaching Resources (weareteachers.com)
A New Model for Teaching High-Frequency Words | Reading Rockets