If you're interested in helping your child become a more proficient reader, you may want to invest in a few children's books with sight words to add to your home library. Learning sight words is a key component in developing a child's literacy skills.
About Sight Words
Phonics skills help kids learn to sound out unfamiliar words, but there are certain words in the English language that don't follow these established patterns. These words are called "sight words" and must be memorized in order to achieve reading fluency.
The Dolch word list is a compilation of the most common sight words. There are 220 words, plus 95 additional nouns, in this list. The total word list is broken down into various grade levels, starting with preschool.
Preschool Sight Words
The list includes:
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
Kindergarten Sight Words
This list includes:
all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes
First Grade Sight Words
First graders should learn:
after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, giving, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when
Second Grade Sight Words
Second graders can benefit from learning this list:
always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don't, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your
Third Grade Sight Words
This list includes:
about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm
The list of additional nouns to learn includes:
apple, baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother, cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow, day, dog, doll, door, duck, egg, eye, farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower, game, garden, girl, good-bye, grass, ground, hand, head, hill, home, horse, house, kitty, leg, letter, man, men, milk, money, morning, mother, name, nest, night, paper, party, picture, pig, rabbit, rain, ring, robin, Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun, table, thing, time, top, toy, tree, watch, water, way, wind, window, wood
Popular Children's Books with Sight Words
The sight words on the lists above comprise between 60 and 85 percent of the text found in the typical children's book. If your child is working on learning sight words, you can help reinforce his knowledge by picking up one or more of the following titles to add to his library:
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (87% sight word vocabulary)
- A Fly Went By! by Mike McClintock (83% sight word vocabulary)
- I Want to Be Somebody New! by Robert Lopshire (82% sight word vocabulary)
- The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss (81% sight word vocabulary)
- The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (78% sight word vocabulary)
- Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman (78% sight word vocabulary)
- Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (78% sight word vocabulary)
- One fish two fish red fish blue fish by Dr. Seuss (75% sight word vocabulary)
Many of the sites offering free online books for kids have sight word resources available. For example, Hubbard's Cupboard has a section of its site devoted to free printable children's books with sight words. Printable worksheets can also be a good resource for helping children who are struggling with certain sight words. You can find a variety of free printable activities for young readers on the edHelper Web site.