Beginner readers sight words

Top 100 Sight Words and How to Teach Them

Sight words is a common term in reading that  has a variety of meanings. When it is applied to early reading instruction, it typically refers to the set of about 100 words that keeps reappearing on almost any page of text. “Who, the, he, were, does, their, me, be” are a few examples.

In addition to their being very frequent, many of these words cannot be “sounded out.” Children are expected to learn them by sight (that is, by looking at them and recognizing them, without any attempt to sound them out.)

Unfortunately, this means minimal teaching. Often, little is done other than to show the word and tell the child what it is “saying.” For many children, this is not enough, with the result that their reading of these critical words is laden with error.

What does this mean for parents who are helping their children master reading? Basically it means spending some time in truly teaching these words so that your child gains real mastery of them. The key to achieving this goal is accurate writing (spelling)—via memory. That is, the child writes the word when the model is not in view.

You can do this by creating simple sentences that the child reads. (By using sentences, you will automatically be using many “sight words.” In addition, you will be giving your child the opportunity to deal with words in context—a key to meaningful reading) After showing the sentence and having your child read it, turn it over and then dictate the sentence. If there is an error, you immediately stop your child and take away the paper. Then you show the model again and repeat the process. In other words, the writing of the sentence has to be fully accurate, starting with the first word.

If you want a list of those words to help guide your efforts, here is the top 100 according to the American Heritage Word Frequency Book by John B. Carroll.

A: a, an, at, are, as, at, and, all, about, after

B: be, by, but, been

C: can, could, called

D: did, down, do

E: each

F: from, first, find, for

H: he, his, had, how, has, her, have, him

I: in, I, if, into, is, it, its

J: just

K: know

L: like, long, little

M: my, made, may, make, more, many, most,

N: not, no, now

O: or, one, of, out, other, over, only, on

P: people

S: said, she,  some, so, see

T: the, to, they, this, there, them, then, these, two, time, than, that, their

U: up, use

V: very

W: was, with, what, were, when, we, which, will, would, words, where, water, who, way

Y: you, your

Click here to download our Recommended Top 100 Sight Words.

Literacy and reading expert, Dr. Marion Blank



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The Perfect Sight Word List For Beginner Readers.

 Children in their first years at school, who learn the sight word list below, will have an excellent start to reading and writing.

Initially this process takes time, often months. That's why teachers introduce lists like this to children, gradually, when they first start school. But it doesn't hurt them to recognise a few words before then, if they are ready to learn them.

Sight Word List

The list of sight words below is broken into groups.  Each group consists of 10 words.

There are several lists available for teachers to use. But they are virtually identical as they are composed of words children most frequently use. 

The list below covers 80 of the first sight words your child will need to know.

The trick is to ensure your child recognises the words in one group before starting another. But as I mentioned before, this doesn't happen immediately. So don't feel you need to put pressure on your child or you'll switch off their desire to learn. If you're helping them at home, keep it light.

At the end of this article I will explain how you can gently introduce some of these words to your child so they learn them without pressure.

Don't be concerned if your child finds the list below too difficult at this stage. They may only manage the first group of words. Or they may not be  ready for them at all. If that's the case, wait for their teacher to guide you.

























































































More About Sight Words

 Your child needs to learn these word by sight rather than decode them. That means they may need to see them many, many times in order to memorise them.

You may be asking yourself about now

  •  what exactly is a sight word?
  •  why are they so important in reading?
  •  how do you know what is a sight word and when do you sound out a word? 

If you want to know more, click on my article What Are Sight Words? There you'll get answers you need. At the same time you'll see how it's affected an adult student of mine who hasn't ever known them!

Introducing Them To Your Child

Here's a great way to introduce sight words.

  • Print off two copies of the sight word list.
  • Cut two copies of the group One words starting the word 'I'.
  • Cut each of the words individually.
  • Place one set of the words in front of your child. You keep the other.
  • Hold up one of the words
  •  Read it to your child and ask them to find the matching word. (They will study the shape of the letters and hear the word associated with them. )
  • When they find the matching word, repeat the word. Say: "Yes, that word says ......  Can you tell me what the word says?" (This reinforces and matches in their brain the visual appearance of the word with how the word sounds.)

Play this game often and you'll find your child will become increasingly comfortable with these words. Gradually they will memorise them. They will then build up an invaluable bank of everyday words for reading and writing.

If you are struggling to engage your child, click on my phonics games page. There you'll find out how important it is to make learning fun. Plus great activities you can do at home to breathe life into learning literacy skills.

Go From Sight Word List To Literacy Lessons

Go To Phonics Literacy Homepage

Beginner readers: janemouse — LiveJournal

Beginner readers: janemouse — LiveJournal ?
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What kind of books and games do you know for those who don't read vigorously yet?
Here in English there is a series of books in which all words are 3-4 letters long, and they use only the simplest letters.
But it doesn't work like that in Russian, the words are longer on average, and it's difficult to build meaningful phrases from short words.
I really love the series "Pip" by Yulia Lugovskaya and "Whose Side", "House for Foxes" and other books by Tanya Russita. (Although not all children love them, but for some, this is a real salvation - a whole book of 16 pages, and literally 1-2 phrases on each) with simple reading tasks, and books with pictures and few words.

I have 2 new books by Yulia Kuznetsova "Learning to read with dinosaurs" - and with cats.

There are such series in English, and they are in kindergartens, in libraries
In Russian there have been more such books over the past 15 years, but they are still few.

Of all the books with assignments, I like Words the most.
This year we also made a whole series for novice readers, they are available both on paper and in PDF format

We also made home-made cutter books with the children

Of the simplest and most beautiful books, I especially love the books of Marianne Dubuc.
I look at the pictures again and again - and I am glad that over the past 15 years so many wonderful children's books have been translated and published.

This is already a little more text, but it also helps children move from very short texts to longer ones.
I showed and leafed through them at the seminar on reading, but I can later, if interested, show the photos here as well.

From games we love


animal letters


And also "Words" - when you need to invent pictures from sticks and strings to one of the words from the card.

Triple nonsense - collect funny phrases from words, the funnier the better.

What other games and books would you recommend for those who know the letters but hardly read them yet?

Tags: library, game, books, board games, seminar, word games, reading, what to read


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    We continue the review of books for beginner readers: janemouse — LiveJournal

    We continue our review of books for beginner readers: janemouse — LiveJournal ?
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    Everyone needs different books for beginner readers.
    It is important for someone that the font is large.
    And for someone - the words are short.
    Pictures are critical for many - and I am one of them!
    The previous book review series is here.

    There is such a relatively new nice series "I read myself" by Irina Poperyokova,
    there are several books for each level.
    I have a set of books with 4 levels of difficulty,
    they are like this:

    Each book has 16 pages

    the font is quite large

    The plots are somewhere more funny, somewhere less

    words are repeated a lot times

    My new book Toy Stories

    Il Sung Na - the author of very beautiful illustrations

    the elephant is very funny

    words are not enough, but pictures, ah!

    Uncle Amos is not going to work

    Uncle AMO

    The nasal is

    mouse in the city

    large text 900
    Tiger August

    What are your favorite books with beautiful pictures and plain text?

    Tags: library, for beginners, books, labyrinth, links, photo


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