What are Sight Words and What Part Do They Play in the Reading Development Process?
Sight words allow young children to build fluency and speed when reading. This, in turn, increases their ability to comprehend what they have read. Sight words are a collection of words that students should be able to decipher without actually having to sound out the letters. This ability is commonly referred to as automaticity. Sight words can be thought of as foundational words that children can use to build their vocabularies.
There are many sight word lists that you can use with your students, but the most famous and commonly used list is the Dolch Sight Words List. Educator Dr. Edward William Dolch created this list in the 1930s-40s by researching the most popular children’s book of his era. His list is comprised of 220 “service words” and 95 high-frequency nouns. Collectively his sight words list include 80% of the words you would read in children’s books and 50% of the words that would read in a book written for adults. Once a child masters this list of words, reading becomes easier, As they can then focus their attention on the words that do not appear on the sight word list.
The Dolch words are traditionally separated into groups by grade level, ranging from pre-kindergarten to third grade, with the nouns being placed on a separate list. There are 315 Dolch Sight Words, which can all be found below.
Pre-K Dolch Sight Words
a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
Kindergarten Dolch Sight Words
all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes
First Grade Dolch Sight Words
after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, going, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when
Second Grade Dolch Sight Words
always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don’t, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your
Third Grade Dolch Sight Words
about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm
Noun Dolch Sight Words
apple, baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother, cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow, day, dog, doll, door, duck, egg, eye, farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower, game, garden, girl, goodbye, grass, ground, hand, head, hill, home, horse, house, kitty, leg, letter, man, men, milk, money, morning, mother, name, nest, night, paper, party, picture, pig, rabbit, rain, ring, robin, Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun, table, thing, time, top, toy, tree, watch, water, way, wind, window, wood