Learning to recognise and read sight words is crucial for young children to become fluent readers. With over 200 in the English language, sight words are the words that appear most frequently in reading – words like ‘and’, ‘is’, ‘at’, ‘I’ and so on.
Learning sight words can often be tricky as they are generally:
- Phonetically irregular, that is, their sound sometimes does not match up to their letters.
- Not easily represented by pictures, for example, ‘the’ and ‘or’.
Therefore, sight words need to be learned and memorised ‘at sight.’
Interestingly, the first 100 high-frequency sight words make up more than fifty per cent of primary level reading texts, so the sooner your child masters sight words, the more confidence they will have and the faster they will progress toward reading fluency.
To make learning sight words fun, try some of the following activities that you and your child can do at home:
- Create a Sight Word Poster – children learn through repetition, so as your child learns a new sight word, write the word in large print on a piece of paper and hang it up where they are likely to see it often. Every time they see this poster, it will reinforce their memory and it can also be used as a handy reference point when reading with your child.
- Sight Word Bingo – Both you and your child have a piece of paper with a list of sight words on it. Write these sight words on individual cards and place them in a box, then take turns drawing them out of the box. If you pull one out that matches your list, you will then have to read the sight word in order to keep it. If you can’t read it or it doesn’t match your list, then you have to put it back in the box. The first to bingo wins.
- Hands-on Sight Word Activities – Young children love moving things around with their hands, so ask your child to make sight words out of play-dough, magnets on the fridge, or building blocks. If you’re at the beach, let them try tracing a sight word into the sand. These fun activities will keep your child interested and help them commit to memory the spelling of sight words.
Visit www.readingeggs.com to see how your child can learn how to read while having fun with Reading Eggs!