What are sight words? When teaching the English language to children, you always start with the basic words, naturally. These words are crucial for forming the foundations of sentences, so they will help to expand your child’s vocabulary and prepare them for more complicated words. Children recognize words more easily when they see them frequently, so consistent reading and writing is essential to teach them the basis of forming a sentence.
Sight words are a part of this learning process and they are quite easy to teach at home and at school.
What Are Sight Words?
Sight words are words that appear very frequently when we read and write, so they are words that children can quickly learn because they see them so often. A child will recognize these words on sight without needing to sound them out. A child’s language skills will develop at their own pace, but sight words are usually taught around the age of 4 or 5.
Teaching sight words is a great way to get children to memorize whole words at a glance and be able to recognize them in sentences that they read. These word-recognition skills are a critical part of growing a child’s reading and writing abilities, as well as extending their vocabulary. Sight words are easily decodable once children have learned them, so you can move on teaching longer, more complicated words once your child understands the basics and can recognize them by sight.
How to Teach Sight Words to a Child
There are 100 common sight words, so the thought of teaching all of them to a child can feel quite intimidating. The best technique is to separate those 100 words into lists of 5 or 10 and teach the shortest, simplest words first. This will avoid overwhelming the child and get them used to the basic words before you move onto longer words. Name the words and then have your child repeat them. If they recognize the words by sight then they will know what they sound like.
You could also start by teaching the sight words beginning with the letter A and work down the alphabet to cover the others. This is another easy way to teach the words at a slower pace. If your child is working towards recognizing pronouns, adjectives, and verbs, then you could group the sight words that way.
Children react well to clear, colored learning materials, so you could assign sight words to different colors to help the child recognize them. Ensure that you help your child distinguish between sight words that sound the same, such as “two” and “to”, to avoid any confusion with what they mean in a sentence. When your child starts school, they will have further teaching to develop their reading and writing skills, but it is important that you also continue to offer them support and teaching sight words is a great way to make learning activities at home simple and fun.
You can make flashcards with the words on and use them to give your child tests. Reading with your child is also a way to get them to recognize sight words by themselves. You can also do this by hanging the words around your home so that they get used to seeing the words on a regular basis. Make sure that you also teach them the meanings of the word so that they know when and how to use them in a sentence.
List of Sight Words
Below is a list of the 100 common sight words, categorized alphabetically.
A: an, are, a, at, as, and, after, all, about
B: by, be, been, but
C: could, can, called
D: do, did, down
F: for, find, first, from
G: go, get. give
H: he, his, him, her, have, has, had, how
I: in, if, I, into, is, it, its
L: long, like, little
M: may, made, my, more, make, many, most
N: no, not, now
O: one, of, on, or, over, other, only, out
R: rain, right, run
S: she, so, said, some, see
T: to, the, they, time, this, than, there, two, their, that, them, these, then
U: use, up
W: with, what, was, we, when, were, which, will, would, who, way, water, words, where
Y: you, your, yes