Sight Words Printable

Using Sight Words to Teach Struggling Readers

Learning how to read can be especially tough for children and some kids just may not be super excited about trying to learn as it is challenging and very frustrating. Now this is where your job as a parent comes in, as it is your job to support what is being taught at school and to try and teach in an engaged way so that the whole time you are working with your child isn’t a fight or miserable.

Now I have personally been teaching reading for over 5 years, so I thought I would share some tips and tricks to help those struggling readers. The key to teaching reading to a child who is struggling is to make it fun and seem more like a game then work. Kids feel encouraged when there is lots of positive reinforcement as well, so make small attainable goals with your child and celebrate those little successes!

Teaching sight words is a great way to build the confidence of struggling readers. Sight words can be taught through a variety of fun games which encourages children to be engaged in the activity. Teaching kids at a young age is essential, so start teaching reading to preschoolers with these 100 lessons.

If you like seasonal activities then check out Valentines Tracing and Cutting Practice and St.Patricks Alphabet Sensory Fun Activity which are perfect activities for beginner readers.

What is a Sight Word?

A sight word is a term in early literacy development that refers to a word that must be taught by sight (looking at it) rather than being able to decode or sound the letters out. A sight word are words that occur frequently in English language and can be found in many story books as sight words make up a large majority of the English Language.

Sight words are high frequency words that appear often in books so children are encouraged to memorize the words so that they can instantly recognize the words in print. Sight words are challenging as they can not be decoded and do not follow the standard rules of phonics so they must be memorized. There are two main lists of sight words that can be taught: Dolch words, and Fry words. Research shows that 75% of all words used in children’s literature are in the 220 words of the Dolch Basic Sight Word list.

The list begins at easy words and progresses to more difficult, and covers most important words for those children in kindergarten up to Grade 3. Dolch words are simplier and completed faster. Once children have memorized all 220 words of the Dolch List, I would suggest moving onto Fry Words which are more difficult and structured for Grades 106.

How do Sight Words help Children learning to Read?

Sight words help children learn to read as it increases their confidence and fluency when reading. Sight words help improve children’s speed when reading which is important as accuracy, speed and fluency all impact a child’s reading comprehension.

Dolch words are words that children can read automatically by sight thus why they are called sight words. Dolch words include: Dolch list contains conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, and verbs.

Based on the Dolch words children should know the following:

Pre-Primer/Kindergarten– All 92 words by end of Kindergarten
Grade 1 – All 40 words by end of Grade 1
Grade 2 – All 46 words by end of Grade 2
Grade 3 – All 41 words by end of Grade 3

Sight Word Flash Cards

I have decided to reward our Exploring Family with a FREE FULL SET of Dolch Words Flash Cards, I normally sell these on Teachers Pay Teachers for $2.00. You can also download the Build a Ice cream cone sight word game to play with the sight words. 


Dolch words are the most common occurring words in the English Language and therefore need to be learned so that the child can read these words with automaticity.

The flashcards are split up into ten levels increasing in difficulty and are colour coded.
Level 1: Words 0-20
Level 2: Words 21-40
Level 3: Words 41-60
Level 4: Words 61 -80
Level 5: Words 81-100
Level 6: Words 101-120
Level 7: Words 121 – 140
Level 8: Words 141-160
Level 9: Words 161-180
Level 10: Words 181-200

Sight Word Games

Here are some Sight Word Flash Cards (Pre-primer) and Games that I have created to help you get started teaching your child sight words.

Sight Word Bingo


Download Sightwords Bingo Freebie and Christmas Sightword bingo level 1 freebie

Build an Ice Cream Cone:


You may also be interested in: Six Tips to Encourage Readers

3 thoughts on “Using Sight Words to Teach Struggling Readers”

  1. Very true about sight words! I was an ECE and elementary teacher and making learning fun is key! Laminating is great, makes everything last longer and reuseable!

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