By the time kids are in second grade they should know most sight words (if not all). If they are missing some sight words, reading can be laborious and difficult. Their accuracy rate might be low. Sight words are common and a lack of sight word knowledge will cause a student to reach a stasis. They will not improve their reading, because they’ll be stuck on lower level books. Sight word acquisition is a unique challenge for kids with learning disabilities like dyslexia. For a child that’s struggling with sight words, you might want to read more information on how to get sight words to stick.
Sight words for older Students are a bit less common.
Sight words for younger kids are the most common, including words like the, of, could, would, they…etc. Sight words for older students are a bit less common, including words like thought, through, behind…etc. Ideally, kids learn sight words from most common to least common. This helps them read age appropriate books as they progress.
Here are some sample sight words for older students:
If you’re looking for sight words for older students, this list is a good start. However, there are about 120 sight words worth memorizing so there’s still many more for your student to learn. Most words in English are phonetic, but sight words are not. This means students cannot decode sight words: they must memorize them. They break the phonetic code, because their pronunciation has changed over time. These words are descended from Old English, and many retain the spelling to match their old acoustics.
Sight words are used commonly, but they only make up a small fraction of the language.
Although sight words only make up a tiny fraction of the language, they are incredibly common. For example, Eucalyptus in Australia are incredibly common, but they are only one type of tree out of approximately 60,000 types of trees in the world. In parallel, we see sight words everywhere (the, of, they…etc.), but they are only about 120 words out of the 170,000 words in current use in English. Thus, sight words are important and so is phonics.
I’m happy to provide a free printable to teach sight words for older students. Here it is:
Reading Elephant offers printable phonics books to help teach your K-1 student how to read.