Sight word teaching ideas

48 Fun Sight Word Activities That Work

Teachers are always on the hunt for great sight word activities. Sight words are any words readers recognize automatically “by sight”—for fluent readers, that’s almost all words! High-frequency words, the most commonly occurring words in written English like those on the Dolch list, are often thought of as the most crucial sight words.

It’s a myth that blindly memorizing every letter in a sight word is the only way to learn it. The science of reading tells us that linking sounds and letters is the most effective way for kids’ brains to learn any word. Many common words are easy to tackle using beginning phonics skills (like “at,” “can,” “him,” etc.), so staying true to a strong phonics curriculum is one way to support kids’ sight word learning. Even irregularly spelled words have decodable parts, e.g., kids can use the sounds of “s” and “d” to help with “said,” even if the “ai” is unexpected. Experts often call these words “heart words” to call out for kids that they should learn the unexpected word parts “by heart. ” (If all this is unfamiliar to you, it can feel overwhelming, but you’ve got this! Check out teaching guru Jillian Starr’s explanation for more help.)

Check out these low-prep and engaging sight word activities for both teaching and practicing words.

1. Map it and drive it

This is a genius way to introduce words with appealing materials: Say the word, represent each sound with a LEGO brick, write letters for each sound, and “drive” to read it.

Source: @droppinknowledgewithheidi

2. Smush play dough for each sound

Set up a routine that works for any word. Play dough squishing for each sound is the ultimate multi-sensory component.


Source: @playdough3plato

3. Map words with a magnet wand

It is so super-satisfying to drag those magnetic dots around! Watch the video below for lots of tips on introducing a word using this process.

Source: @warriorsforliteracy


Make a mini book

Lots of handy info in one place for your little learners.

Source: @hughesheartforfirst

5. Tap it, pop it, learn it!

Hardwire those words in kids’ brains with this comprehensive word intro routine. (You had us with the pop its!)

Source: @hellojenjones

6. Find and swat words

An oldie but such a goodie. Find a word in an array and WHACK! Swat it with a fly swatter!

Source: @kids_play_learn_laugh

7. Flip word pancakes

Serve up sight word pancakes while practicing spelling them aloud.

Source: @bee_happy_teaching

8. Wear heart word bracelets

Make kids feel like sight word VIPs.

Source: @teachingmoore

9. Search for sight word balls

Write sight words on ball pit balls with a chalk marker or dry-erase marker. Kids can race around hunting for balls to read and toss in a basket, or hunt through a big tub of balls for a certain word.

Source: @preschoolforyou


Start a sight word band

Loud but oh-so-fun! Feel the rhythm while tapping and reading sight words stuck to homemade percussion instruments.

Source: @earlyyears_withmrsg

11. Drive on a sight word path

This is one of many fun ways to use magnetic tiles for learning! Kids love “knocking down” word tiles with a toy car as they read each one.

Source: @travisntyler

12. Use sticky notes to inspire sight word sentences

Have kids stick words on items that give them ideas for sentences. “My Mom said to wear a helmet!” = so good!

Source: @kinneypodlearning

13. Write words on a sensory bag

So easy: Fill a zip-top bag with a small amount of kid-safe paint, seal well, and have kids practice “writing” sight words with their finger or a cotton swab.

Source: @makeitmultisensory

14. Wear a sight word crown

Wear your word proudly and practice reading others’ words. Fun in person or virtually.

Source: @mrsjonescreationstation

15. Play a magnetic-tile board game

We love new ideas for ways to use magnetic tiles for sight word activities. Easy to set up and fun to play.

Source: @twotolove_bairantwins

16. Spell words to a familiar tune

Get sight words stuck in everyone’s head, in a good way. We’d add a line for chanting the sounds in the word!

Source: @saysbre

17. Feed a word monster

Nom, nom, nom.

Source: @ecplayandlearn

18. Search for the pom-pom under sight word cups

Read all the words as you try to find the cup that hides the prize.


19. Play sight word KABOOM

This classroom classic is perfect for sight words. If you need a refresher on the rules, Jillian Starr covers them.

Source: @essentiallykinder

20. Roll and write words

Roll, write, repeat.

Source: @mylittlepandamonium

21. Write words with rainbow colors

Bonus points for aromatic markers.

Source: @mylittlepandamonium

22. Trace words with flashlights

Stock up on batteries because kids never get tired of this!

Source: @giggleswithgerg

23. Find words in plastic eggs

Give kids a checklist of words to find as they open each egg.

Source: @blooming_tots1

24. Spy words around the classroom

Just add a magnifying glass and clipboard to make kids feel like supersleuths!

Source: @readingcorneronline

25. Find words in the morning message

Don’t forget about old standbys! This is one of our favorite ways to get kids to recognize sight words in connected text.

Source: @tales_of_a_kinder_classroom

26. Build words with bricks

Such a great use of extra building bricks!

Source: @raysinkinder

27. Write words in sand

Easy-peasy to set up and keep neat if you use plastic pencil boxes.

Source: @teacherhacks

28. Spell words on a construction site

Bulldozing over each word to read it is the best part!

Source: @planningplaytime


Spell words with toy cars

Drive on over!

Source: @lozlovesprep

30. Park in a sight word “parking lot”

This one is easy to modify based on whatever toys are available in the classroom or at home.

Source: @msbendersclassroom

31. “Plant” words in play dough

Watch those reading skills grow!

Source: @planningplaytime

32. Build words in a sensory tub

Because spelling is just more fun when your hands are covered in beans!

Source: @coffeeandspitup

33. Write words on a magnetic drawing board

That eraser track makes for a perfect word card holder!

Source: @moffattgirls

34. Or write words on the window!

Everyone wants a turn to write on the window!

Source: @kindergarten_matters

35. Shhh! Discover words written in invisible ink

Write words in white crayon and reveal them with watercolors on top!

Source: @teachstarter


Dot-paint words with a cotton swab

Calming and effective.

Source: @sightwordactivities

37. “Type” words on a keyboard

Busy day at the sight word office! Use a keyboard cover or any old keyboard.

Source: @lifebetweensummers

38. Read words before heading through the door

The line leader can double as the word pointer during transitions.

Source: @ms.rowekinder

39. Read the word the teacher’s wearing!

Wait, is there something on my shirt?

Source: @theprimarypartner

40. Take a sight word cakewalk

Choose a winning word when the music stops!

Source: @joyfulinkinder

41. Play sight word hopscotch

If you can’t get outdoors, tape on the floor works just as well.

Source: @wheretheliteracygrows

42. Play tic-tac-toe

I’ll be team “the.”

Source: @create_n_teach

43. Go sight word bowling

No bowling pins? Use half-filled plastic water bottles instead.

Source: @thecreativeteacher_

44. Ready, aim, read

Just throw a beanbag at a word target if foam darts are a no-go.

Source: @laurens_lil_learners

45. Play muffin tin ball toss

Toss and read. It’s easy to use colored muffin cups to prep different sets of words.

Source: @homeschooling_fun_with_lynda

46. DIY sentence flash cards

Authentic use of words in context for the win.

Source: @teachertipsandtales

47. Play sight word checkers

King me! If kids don’t have a partner available, they can “play” with a stuffed animal and get double practice.

Source: @sightwordactivities

48. Play sight word Guess Who?

Set up this game once and use it forever.

Source: @lessons_and_lattes

We’d love to hear—what are your favorite sight word activities? Share in the comments below.

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Plus, what are sight words?

25 low-prep sight word activities

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Today I’m sharing some simple sight word activities that you can prepare in minutes!

So what are sight words, anyway?

Some people will tell you that sight words are words that kids can’t sound out; they just have to learn them by sight. Others tell you that sight words are the high frequency words: the words that kids encounter the most when they read.

But researchers tell us that sight words are words we recognize automatically without needing to sound out or guess.

The real question is … how can we turn high frequency words INTO sight words? 

The number one thing to do is to teach each word explicitly. That’s why I created my set of sight word lessons with decodable books.

Once you’ve taught the words with attention to the spelling patterns (these sight word worksheets are also great for this), you’re ready for these low prep sight word activities that you can put together in under 15 minutes!

1- It takes just 5 minutes to set up Sight Word Sticky Note Match.  Just write the words on sticky notes and have your child cover the words on a dry erase board!

2 – Grab your alphabet stamps and some play dough for this simple sight word activity. 

3 – Write the words on sticky notes. Then have your child write them in sand.

4 – Teach sight word songs. 


Sight Word Worksheets – Based on the science of reading!


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5 – Write the words on sticky notes. Then have your child swat each sight word  with a fly swatter as you name it!

6 –Do fun actions with your sight words with This Reading Mama’s free action cards.

7 – Write sight words in play dough with a stick or wooden skewer.

8 – Try chanting sight words in a variety of different ways – like a robot, a cheerleader, and more! You can get free sight word chants on TPT here.


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9 – Make a sight word memory game. Just write each sight word on two different index cards. Then turn the cards over and invite your child to find the matches.

10 – Print these free sight word cards and build the words with letter tiles. When you join This Reading Mama’s free email list, you’ll get lots of free sight word cards! Learn more here.

11- Learning is always more fun with dice! Grab these free rainbow roll & write pages for a variety of sight words. Kids roll a die, check the key at the top of the page, and write the word in a particular color.

12 – This is such a creative way to practice writing sight words! Find the words with a magnifying glass and write them on the lines. Get the freebie here.

13 – Are you students learning beginning sight words? Print and play sight word blackout.

14 – Simply write your child’s sight words on a piece of paper and have him stamp them with alphabet stamps.

15. Grab the play dough, a sheet protector, and a dry erase marker. Your child can build the word with play dough and write it on the lines below. Get the freebie here.

16 – Grab these free color-by-sight-word pages.

17 – Get some colorful craft sticks and write the words with a permanent marker for some simple sight word puzzles.

18- Sight Word Showdown is both simple and genius! Just grab a stack of index cards and write each word twice. Then follow the directions in this post.

19 – Write sight words in muffin tin liners and play a simple game of Three in a Row.

20 – Bury magnetic letters in a sensory material. Have children dig out the letters to build words.

21 – Make a sight word parking lot. Draw tiny parking spots on a piece of poster board, and write a sight word in each one. As you name the words, have your child park a toy car in each spot. Learn more here.

22- Practice writing sight words using a dry erase marker on a dry erase board.

23- Write sight words on craft sticks and provide some magnetic letters for this portable sight word activity.

24 – Where’s the bear? Write the words on paper cups and hide a small bear or other tiny object. Your child guesses where the bear is hiding by naming the word on the cup.

25 – Go on a simple sight word hunt by matching the sticky note sight words to the words on a clip board. (This one’s a favorite at our house.)

And there you have it! 25 low-prep ways to practice sight words!

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Join our email list and get this sample pack of time-saving resources from our membership site! You'll get phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading comprehension resources ... all free!

Brainstorming as one of the most effective methods of interactive learning

Remember your school years… How did we like to play at breaks and how upset we were to read boring textbooks, memorize long abstruse phrases? Today, nothing has changed, and children just want to play and do not like to engage in incomprehensible and uninteresting things imposed on them by adults. Children do not like to sit still and silently in uninteresting classes, memorize a huge amount of information and then try to retell it for no reason. The question arises - why do many of the teachers continue to use the very teaching methods that once caused boredom and irritation among themselves? Efforts must be made to change this situation. A serious need for this is long overdue.

The so-called methods of interactive teaching are being actively introduced in modern pedagogical practice. Among them are business and role-playing games , case methods, brainstorming method. Interactive learning can be called interactive learning, since it involves interaction not only between students and the teacher, but also between the children themselves. Its goal is to create an enabling environment for learning , during which the guys can show their intellectual viability, which makes the learning process itself productive. Classes, built on an interactive basis, allow you to give knowledge and skills, as well as create a basis for working on solving problems after the training is over. The essence of interactive learning is that the learning process is organized in such a way that all students are involved in the learning process, they have the opportunity to understand and reflect on what they know and think. The joint activity of students in the process of learning and mastering educational material means that everyone makes their own special individual contribution, there is an exchange of knowledge, ideas, ways of activity. Interactive methods are based on the principles of interaction and activity of participants.

I would like to consider in detail one of the methods of interactive learning - the brainstorming method, the inventor of which is Alex Osborne (USA, 40s of the 20th century) . He is the author of several books on advertising and thinking. Its main idea is this: to separate the generation of ideas from its criticism, or rather, to separate the dreamer from the critic.

Brainstorming is one of the most popular methods of stimulating creativity, it is a good way to quickly involve all students in the group in the work based on the free expression of their thoughts on the issue under consideration. The goal of such a lesson is to create comfortable learning conditions in which students feel their success, their intellectual viability, which makes the learning process itself productive.

The use of the brainstorming method in the educational process allows to solve the following tasks:

– stimulation of students' creative activity;

- a harmonious combination of theoretical knowledge with practice;

- activation of educational and cognitive activity of students;

- formation of students' own opinion and attitude to the topic;

- formation of the ability to concentrate attention and mental efforts on solving an urgent problem;

– development of life and professional skills;

- establishing influence between children, teaching teamwork, showing tolerance for any point of view, respecting the right of everyone to freedom of speech, respecting his dignity.

To use brainstorming, it is necessary to select topics and tasks that are interesting for children and that can develop their research potential. For this, it is important that the problem has a large number of possible solutions. Thus, new approaches to the study of the topic are emerging.

A feature of interactive forms is a high level of mutually directed activity of students, their interaction, emotional, spiritual unity of children. Interactive methods do not replace lectures, but contribute to a better assimilation of lecture material and, most importantly, form opinions, attitudes, and behavioral skills. A Chinese proverb says: “Tell me and I will forget; show me and I will remember; let me do it, and I'll understand." These words reflect the essence of interactive learning.

When using the brainstorming method the teacher first informs the topic and form of the lesson, formulates the problem that needs to be solved, substantiates the problem to find a solution. Students should know what exactly they need to get as a result of brainstorming. They must clearly understand why they are here and what problem they are going to solve.

Then the teacher introduces the students to the conditions of teamwork and gives them the rules of brainstorming. The problem formulated in a brainstorming lesson should be theoretical or practical relevant and arouse the active interest of students. The general requirement that must be taken into account when choosing a problem for brainstorming is the possibility of many ambiguous solutions to a problem that is put forward to students as a learning task.

For brainstorming, children or work together or are divided into two groups: generators and analytics of ideas. It is advisable to form working groups in accordance with the personal wishes of the students, but the groups should be approximately equal in number of participants.

Idea Generators are creative people, students with a mobile, active mind, able and loving to fantasize, put forward non-standard ideas, thoughts. Idea generators must, within a short time, offer as many solutions to the problem under discussion as possible, while respecting important rules, such as:

- the dominance of any participant is excluded;

- naming ideas should not be repeated;

- the bigger the list of ideas, the better. the more proposals put forward, the greater the likelihood of a new and valuable idea;

- you need to approach the solution of the problem from different angles;

- a ban on criticism and any assessment of the ideas expressed, since the assessment distracts from the solution of the main task and knocks down the creative mood;

- Unusual and even absurd ideas are welcome.

No matter how incredible the idea put forward by any of the participants, it should be welcomed. Do not think that the problem posed can be solved only by known methods. It is required to create an expert group, which will analyze all the ideas put forward and select the best ones.

The second group - analysts, receives lists of options from the first group and, without adding anything new, considers each proposal, choosing the most reasonable and appropriate. Each analyst has three votes and gives them to the best, in his opinion, three ideas. Evaluation can be made as follows: the first idea received three votes, the second - two, the third - one. The idea with the most votes is the solution.

At the stage of evaluating and selecting the best ideas, the experts unite in a group and evaluate the ideas according to the selected criteria, selecting the best ones for presentation to the game participants. The teacher determines the time for experts to work - approximately 15-20 minutes.

In the final step , the representatives of the expert group report on the results of the brainstorming session. They name the total number of ideas proposed during the assault, introduce the best of them. The authors of the best (most relevant, interesting, expedient) ideas substantiate and defend them. Based on the results of the discussion, a collective decision is made on the implementation of certain proposals into practice.

I will give an example of a lesson in the creative association "KIT" "Fundamentals of advertising", the topic is "Advertising campaign". We create in a game form a company that is engaged in online advertising and the generation of creative advertising ideas. Our company decides to participate in a tender for the creation of a New Year's advertising campaign for a bank. To begin with, we define the main task of participating in the tender: to win and receive an order. To get ahead of competitors, you need to offer an idea that will be more interesting than that of competitors.

We create a group that includes people related to the development of advertising and creative. Together they discuss what ideas might be, which ones would be better suited for this bank, which ideas can be applied and which ones cannot. All the guys participate in the process at the same time, acting first as idea generators , then as critics. The result of this lesson is the top of the best ideas that came up during the assault.

Another form of brainstorming - students are divided into 2 groups . Some guys put forward ideas and assumptions, create a bank of ideas. The second is analysis. Accordingly, the groups work in turns.

In this way, we achieve great results in learning. To facilitate the work of groups, it is possible to use a board, chalk, sheets of paper, felt-tip pens, multi-colored stickers, a laptop, tablets, media equipment.

Brainstorming is an intense, fast-paced creative process. For students, as a rule, time flies by unnoticed. Therefore, the teacher must follow the rules and remind how much time remains. Participants need to know how much time they are allotted. Knowing that time is limited and they need to come up with as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time encourages participants to get active.

Like any other teaching method, the brainstorming method has its drawbacks:

- when dividing participants into groups, leaders may dominate in one of them;

- “fixation” of participants on the same type of ideas.

In order to avoid this, the teacher needs to coordinate search directions in a timely manner. When dividing participants, it is recommended to take into account their personal characteristics and combine children of different levels of preparedness into groups.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the role of the teacher during the brainstorming session. It changes dramatically, ceases to be central, the teacher only regulates the process and deals with its general organization, prepares the necessary tasks in advance and formulates questions or topics for discussion in groups, gives consultations, controls the time and order of the planned plan. Criticism of opinions and suggestions is undesirable on the part of the teacher. In the case when the group violates the rules of work, for example, begins to discuss or critically evaluate the idea, the teacher in a tactful and friendly manner helps the group return to the “working state”.

If time permits, it is recommended to do a warm-up at the beginning of the brainstorming session. It is carried out frontally with the whole group. The goal of step is to help participants break free from stereotypes and psychological barriers. Usually, the warm-up is done as an exercise in quickly finding answers to questions. For warm-up, a fast pace of work is important. Therefore, if there is a pause, the teacher himself must put forward 1-2 answers. As soon as the participants begin to find answers with difficulty, they think for a long time, it is worth moving on to the next question. In order to create and maintain a relaxed and lively atmosphere, the teacher prepares unexpected, original questions that are not directly related to the topic of the assault, but are taken from a close area. The warm-up helps the participants to perk up, prepare before starting the brainstorming session. The warm-up time can be 10-15 minutes.

Thus , having considered the method of brainstorming, we can conclude that the basis of the methodology is to overcome stereotypes of thinking and communication barriers, i. e. ensuring the process of creating new ideas without their critical analysis and discussion. The success of brainstorming is based on the principle of not stopping the generation of ideas by subjective evaluation. In brainstorming, these stages are separated, and at the first stage only the first function is implemented, because if the put forward idea immediately collides with a value judgment in its address, the student who is the author of the idea has the so-called "analysis paralysis" , which leads to a sharp decrease in the flow of proposals.

In my opinion, brainstorming can become an integral part of the decision-making process in the educational team, the process of searching for creative ideas, developing interpersonal relationships, self-actualization of students. This allows children not only to participate in intellectual competition, but also to get closer to the team in the study group. Undoubtedly, a competent teacher should always keep this method in service.


1. Osborne A. Controlled imagination. - 1953.

2. Panfilova A.P. Brainstorming in collective decision-making, St. Petersburg, 2005.

3. Hallern D. Psychology of critical thinking - St. Petersburg, 2000.

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