Prep: 10 Minutes / Activity Time: 15-20 Minutes

Children need lots of practice with sight words so that they can say them automatically and quickly when they see them. Learning sight words is an important step in learning to read.

  • Small magnifying glass or pointer
  • Word list with simple sight words such as: and, here, I, the, go, me, like, in, big, to
  • Children’s books with very simple text; easy reader books work well (Note:  Reading A to Z is a website that offers free downloadable samples of leveled books)
  • Small box and index cards (to create a “My Words” box)

Step 1:  Write four sight words on a list.

Step 2:  Give the list to your child and ask him to choose a word from the list. 

Step 3:  Spell the word together by saying a spelling cheer. For example, if your child chooses the word ‘and’, you might say: “Let’s spell ‘and’. Give me an ‘a’; Give me an ‘n’; Give me a ‘d’; What did we spell? A-n-d spells ‘and’!”

Step 3:  Give your child a simple easy reader book and ask him to use a magnifying glass or pointer to find the word in the book as many times as he can. 

Step 4:  Continue with the other words on the list.

Step 5:  Over time, when your child learns a word and can identify it quickly and consistently, you can congratulate him and tell him you are going to write the word on a card and put it in his “My Words” box. This is a big deal!! Give him lots of attention as he learns new words and they are added to his box. You might even have him read his new words to other family members or friends.  

If your child is having trouble finding the word in the book, you can make it easier. As you cheer, write each letter of a sight word on a separate card or piece of paper. Show the word to your child. Ask him to find the word that looks the same in his book. Each time he finds the matching word, say the word together.   

Encourage your child to look for the words in other books, in newspapers, on cereal boxes, etc. Count how many times he finds each word.