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As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your child to read and write. Pre-schoolers and kindergartners should recognize sight words in order to read properly. Sight words help children build a solid vocabulary. Kids will also understand that reading is not only pronouncing the words, but also knowing what the words mean.
What are Sight Words?
Sight words are frequently occurring words that young children are encouraged to memorize. These words are used frequently in daily vocabulary but are not easy to figure out using phonetics. This means that it is difficult to learn these words just by their sounds. Some examples of sight words are you, that, the, of, see, look, am, is, big, little, he, she, and it.
Why Is it Important to Teach Sight Words to Preschoolers?
Some reasons to teach sight words to pre-schoolers are as follows:
1. Builds a Solid Foundation for Vocabulary
When you teach young children to recognize words by sight, it helps them build a solid foundation of good vocabulary. Sight words continue to occur in advanced books, and hence a child will continue to use the sight words learning method to learn more complex words and expand her knowledge.
2. Gives Them Confidence
When a child recognizes several words on a page, it boosts her confidence and she attempts to read the entire text. Over 50% of English text is comprised of the initial 100 sight words. Hence, a child who has memorized these sight words will be able to recognize most of the words in a sentence. This will give her the confidence to read the whole page or even the whole book.
3. Inculcates a Love for Reading
When a child has memorized the sight words, she can recognize it instantly and comprehend the meaning. She will not have to look for the meaning in the dictionary constantly and hence it won’t disturb the flow of reading. As a child gets better at something, she enjoys it more. Thus when she will read without interruptions, she will enjoy it and eventually will develop a love for reading.
List of Some of the Common Sight Words for a Preschool Child
Common sight words are usually in lists of 50 to 100 words. The most commonly used sight words lists are called Dolch list and Fry list. The Fry list contains more modern words than the Dolch list. It was even extended to capture the 1000 most common words in English texts.
- First 100 Words from Fry List: time, them, their, that, than, the, there, they, these, then, this, you, your, way, way, was, use, up, two, to, which, who, were, what, would, write, will, with, when, words, we, long, look, make, many, made, may, more, my, get, go, had, has, day, did, no, not, do, down, about, all, as, at, a, an, and, are, can, come, first, for, if in, into, like, on, one, other, out, oil, or, have, he, her, see, she, so, some, said, sit, each, find, be, been, but, by, is, it, now, number, him, his, part, people, how, of, I, from.
- Pre-Kindergarten Dolch Sight Words: big, blue, and, away, go, help, not, one, to, two, we, where, yellow, you, can, come, for, funny, in, is, I, a, down, find, run, said, play, red, the, three, little, look, me, my, see, up, here, make.
How to Teach Sight Words to Pre-schoolers – Tips for Parents
Here are some ways on how to teach sight words in kindergarten:
- Use Alphabet Magnets: Get your child a set of colourful alphabet fridge magnets and help her spell out the sight words using the magnets. Children enjoy doing this activity, and they also learn the sight words in a fun way.
- Shaving Cream or Sand Box: Use a cookie sheet or tabletop to spread shaving cream. Ask your child to spell out the sight word in the shaving cream. When the child ‘feels’ how the letter is traced with her finger, she will be more likely to remember it. Alternately, you can use a tray filled with sand and have your child trace out the sight words in the sand.
- Makeup Rhymes or Songs Using the Sight Words: You can substitute the words of a popular rhyme or song with the letters that spell the sight word.
- Regular Repetition: Help your child memorize the words by writing and saying the sight words multiple times. Next, ask her to repeat the spelling at regular intervals through the day when she plays or eats. This will help her remember the words any time. You can also play ‘skywriting’ where you can trace the spelling of the sight word on her back, and she can guess what letters and the word you traced out.
- Find it in a Book or Newspaper: Show your child a newspaper or a storybook and encourage her to find sight words on that particular page.
Fun Sight Words Activities for Preschool Kids
Here are some fun activities for preschool kids that will help them learn their sight words:
1. Use Everyday Objects to Form Words
This activity is one of the most fun ways to teach sight words kindergarteners. Use bendy straws, pasta shapes, a saltbox, play dough, or ice-cream sticks to form letters of the sight words.
2. Use a Salt Box or Finger-Paint
You can make learning sight words fun for kids by telling them to trace out the letters in a tray of salt or even use paints to finger-paint the sight words on a paper.
3. Memory Game
Write each sight word on two index cards and draw a little picture on it to make it more fun for the child. Put the cards face down to hide the words. Now ask your child to choose two cards to turn up so that she can find a match. If a matching pair is found, take it away from the game and set it aside. If the match is not found, turn them back to face-down position and have your child pick another card. The game continues until all the sight words are found.
Learning sight words is important for pre-schoolers as it improves their vocabulary, reading skills, and comprehension. Try these fun activities mentioned in this article to help your child can memorize the sight words.
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Also Read: Ways of Teaching Alphabets to Children