How to Help them Learn their Sight Words

These ideas will help kids spell, identify and remember their sight words – the activities are grouped in order of difficulty.

Being able to spell the words correctly isn’t necessary but since these words make up such a large percentage of our written language being able to write them will help with confidence in written tasks.

For each set of words the child has to learn you will need:
  • Word list as a grid (provided by the school or from our download tab on the Sight Words Game page
  • Words cut up as flash cards (you need two sets for some activities)
  • It is also good to have a master list of all the words that they will be learning so you can regularly test up to what they know and put ticks or crosses against the word. Regularly review the words that caused problems

Print to Print –

  • Rainbow words – Write the words and trace each one in lots of different colours – use pencils, textas, chalk . .
  • Spaghetti words – write the words then cover them by making the letters out of cooked spaghetti, wait for the spaghetti to cool – no burnt fingers please!
  • Match Up – Use a timer, put the base grid down and all of the words on flash cards face down nearby. Start the timer – they turn a card and place it on the matching word on the grid. When they are good at that require them to read the word before placing it. Time each attempt record the best times
  • Snap – This is good for revision, you can use all the cards from previous weeks. You need at least 2 copies of each word card. Split the deck among the players. Take turns putting the top card down on a centre pile as they say the word. If the word matches the one previously played anyone can call “SNAP” and place their hand on the pile. They get the pile of words. The person who has most words at the end of the game wins.
  • Sticky – Make the words with a drizzle of white glue and let it dry – they trace the letters with their fingers
  • Word hunt – look for words they know in the book you are going to read them, while shopping or on food labels

Verbal to print – identifying the spoken word

  • What am I – spread the words out, just say the word, they find it
  • Grab – spread the words out face up, have a person call out a word, the first person to grab a word keeps it. Try it face down, they need to turn the word and replace it face down if it is not the one they are looking for
  • Find Me – say a words and have them find it in a book or while out shopping

Print to Verbal – Reads the word

  • Hints – spread the words out – give clues, “I start with a ‘b’”, “ I am a long word”, “I sound like ___”, “I have 3 letters”, “I end with a _”
  • Read the words on flash cards or the master list

Letter recognition – words are made of parts

  • Chalk Board – Copy the words on to a chalk board (or paving, driveway )
  • Fence Painting – write on the fence or pavement with a paint brush dipped in water
  • Write it how? – use a large piece of paper, write it big, write it tiny, write it sideways . . .
  • Sand Paper – On the beach, in the dirt, take any opportunity – write the words with a finger, with a stick . . .

Apps and computer games

There are lots of Apps and computer games that teach sight words. A search on any of the stores will give you plenty to choose from.