Sight Words


Sight words are words that good readers should instantly recognize without having to "figure them out”.  Sight words cannot be decoded and must be learned by sight. 




Search, listen, and find:

Your child is looking and listening for the word as you read a book, poem, paragraph, etc.

Give specific sight word flash cards one at a time to your child and ask them to find the word in a book, or circle the word everywhere it appears on a newspaper or magazine page (this can be done without the cards - it‘s a good way to practice sight words on the go).


Keep it if you know it

Show your child the word card. If they know it, they keep the word. If they miss it, put the word back in the review stack. The object is for the child to keep as many cards as they can in their pile.



Make a second set of word cards and play memory with your child. Begin with twelve cards (6 sets of two words) face down on a table. Turn over two cards at a time. If they match, the child keeps the cards. If the word cards don't match, turn them face down on the table. The object is to get the most matches. 



Children start spelling the sight word while squatting. With each successive letter they stand higher and higher. When the word is said in its entirety, the children jump into the air.



Sight word cards are in a can. The student picks a card and reads it out loud. If they are correct they can keep the card, and it is the next student's turn. The object is to have the most cards at the end of the game. "Bang" is written on some cards. When a student chooses Bang they have to read BANG in a nice loud voice and put ALL of their cards back in the can.


Go Fish

Make a second set of word cards and play Go Fish with your child. 

Take all the cards and mix them, face down.

If 2 are playing: each player is dealt seven cards.

All remaining cards are placed face down, near all players' reach. This becomes the draw deck. Hold your cards so that no other players can see what you have. If you have any pairs (matching sight words) place them face up in front of you.

The dealer starts the game by asking any other player for a specific sight word.

If the player they asked has that sight word, they must give it to the dealer. The dealer then takes the matching sight word from his or her hand and puts both cards face up in front of him or her. They now take another turn, asking any player for any fish card that they have in their hand. They continue to do so as long as they get the card they asked for from any player.

When a player does NOT have the sight word card the dealer asks for, the player says, “go fish!” The dealer must then take the top card from the draw deck. If the card picked matches a card in his or her hand, they can place the pair down next to them. If it does not match, they must keep the card in their hand.

The player to the left of the dealer now takes his or her turn and the game continues as above, in a clockwise direction.


Use it in a sentence

Say the word and try to independently use it in a sentence orally.


Bean Bag Toss

Make a game board with your child’s sight words and play a fun game of beanbag toss while children practice their sight words. For each sight word your child lands on, ask them to read the word to you. You can instruct children to aim for certain words, or use the game board along with flash cards and have children match flash cards and sight words on the board.


Magnetic Letters

Simple, magnetic letters like those often placed on kitchen refrigerators are simple, inexpensive learning tools for children practicing sight words at home or as part of a home school reading curriculum. Magnetic letters are versatile and can be used for number of fun learning games and activities.

Ask your children to construct sight words using magnetic letters, with or without the aid of an example such as a flash card. Placing magnetic letters on your refrigerator, a metal door, or clothes dryer will allow you to practice spelling sight words as you get a few household chores done. To use in a home school classroom or for a learning game that can travel, store magnetic letters and a small cookie sheet in a canvas bag, easily pulled out when it is time to practice sight words. Also, some easels you may be using at home may have a metal board that will support magnetic letters.


Trace it

As you spell the sight word out loud have your child repeat each letter while they write it in the sand (or another kinesthetic method like shaving cream on a cookie sheet, chalk on the sidewalk, magnetic letters, or cereal letters).