Sight words break the phonetic code. Sight words include: the, they, from, would, could, from, their….etc. They are common in text, especially beginning reader books. If you’d like your student to practice reading sight words in-context, click the links for FREE sight word stories pdf. Here’s one about camels:
If you’d like more FREE sight word stories, click the link below for one about polar bears.
What are sight words?
Sight words are also called high frequency words. They are common words that break the phonetic code in some way. Kids are encouraged to memorize sight words. In Kindergarten, kids learn common sight words like the, to, of, from, they, have…etc. In 1st grade, kids continue to learn the 120 most common sight words. By the end of 1st grade, kids are typically done learning sight words. Struggling readers, however, often work on sight words in 3rd and 4th grade.
If you have a student that struggles to memorize sight words, start by teaching her the phonetic code systematically (meaning one phonics sound at a time). Sight words contain at least one phonetically regular component. Often, the first unit is regular as well as in words like they, from, would, could, their…etc. Often, kids need access to the regular component to decipher the word.
If you’d like to teach using systematic phonics instruction, you can work your way through Reading Elephant phonics books. Our books are a great resource for struggling readers.
Keith White says
The words “of” and “have” actually don’t have to be treated as “sight” words. if a student were to say “short o o” and f (voiceless) they actually would not be far off . .. and the linguistics of language being what it is . . . the f becomes voiced in short order. I have taught this numerous times in ESL contexts.
English has a relatively unknown rule that we don’t like words to end in the letter “V”. therefore we add a visual “e” to guard the sound. More reference to this can be found in the book “The ABC’s and all their Tricks” by Margaret M. Bishop. Mott Media p. 267
Brittany Marker says
That’s true Keith. Some of these “sight words” can be decoded with just a minor sound tweak. I definitely advocate teaching kids to use those regular phonetic components. Then kids can match the word to a known word in their vocabularies. I never thought about the v at the end rule… but yes, that makes total sense! I cannot think of any words that end in v. Thanks for the citation to Bishop.