Posted by: ad65shorty | March 2, 2011

Ideas for learning sight words and spelling words

As promised.

Sight words are words frequently used in reading. Many of these words cannot be sounded out, such as “said.” It is a word children must learn to recognize by sight. The more sight words a child knows, the easier it is to read. Here are 10 activities you can use to help your child learn these words. (These would also work well for working on spelling words)

1. Build the word with magnetic letters. Then, mix up the letters and have your child re-build the word. Be sure your child says the word after it’s all put back together.

2. Write the word in salt or on a white board or on a paper several times. Or build it with playdough. The more kinesthetic, the better.

3. Find the word in a book.

4. After mastering a word, hang it on a special “word wall” in your home. My son has his in his room. Make sure to review the words they already know.

5. Once your “word wall” is displayed, play this fun game (a favorite in my classroom). Make the room dark (you may have to play this in the evening). Get a flashlight. Shine the flashlight on a word. Have your child say the word as quickly as possible. Choose another word and repeat. The switch roles.

6. My students always like this one, which would be perfect for learning new words. Play “Dribble and Shoot.” Choose a word, such as “what.” As your child says each letter in the word, they make a dribbling motion with their hands. Then they say the word at the end and pretend to shoot a basket. “w” dribble “h” dribble “a” dribble “t” dribble “what!” shoot

7. If it’s warm where you’re at, you could have your child practice writing the words outside with sidewalk chalk.

8. Play Bingo. Write some of the sight words on a bingo board (you can easily create this by drawing a grid). As you call out the word, have your child cover it with a small object. Treats are fun and motivating!

9. Another favorite. I always wondered what my neighboring teachers thought when they heard the slapping sound on their wall. Put a couple of sight words on your wall, table, or floor (index cards work great for this). Hand your child a fly swatter. Call out a word. Your child needs to find it and slap it with the fly swatter. This is also fun as a race between children. And this is a great one for ABCs or even math facts. For older children, the one who swats it first can keep the card; count them at the end.

10. Here’s a website with a whole bunch of ideas I used to use. Another great resource!


My mind is remembering all these cool games we played way back in the day! Any other ideas?


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