Friday, October 12, 2012


Here are some activities for helping children learn sight words.  If you work with pre-K you can adapt these ideas for learning shapes, letters, numerals, etc.  If you work with older children they can be used for reinforcing vocabulary words.

RF.K.3. c.  Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g. the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

Lifetime Words - Explain that high frequency words are “lifetime words.”  Once you learn them and store them in your brain, they will belong to you the rest of your life! 
*Collect empty mint tins and let children “save” lifetime words in their tins.

Word Wallet - First, let each child make a “wallet.”  Fold a 9”x 12” piece of construction paper in half as shown.  Open and fold up from the bottom about 2” from the top.  Glue the sides.  Fold in half to make the wallet.  Let children decorate with markers or crayons.  Make “dollars” by writing high frequency words on 3” x 5” green rectangles.  As children learn high frequency words, write them on the green “dollars.”  Children can “save” these in their wallets.
Super Visor – Introduce a word each day.  Write the word on an index card and tape it to a visor.  One child gets to be the “super visor” of the day and wear the word.  Whenever you leave the classroom, the “super visor” stands at the door with her arm extended.  Classmates must read the word before the “super visor” raises her arm and lets them exit the classroom.
Sign Language – As you introduce words, go to and click on the “dictionary.”  Scroll down until you find the word and watch the video.  Practice making the sign as you say the word.

The Song – Your students will never forget this word when they sing the rhyme below to the tune of “Shortnin’ Bread.”
            You can say the
            Or you can say the.
            But you always have to spell it
            T – H – E.

Oreo Words – Have children brainstorm all the two letter words they can think of.  Write the words on the board as they call them out.  Give each child a double stuffed Oreo cookie.  Have them open their cookies and lick them as they spell the words on the board.  Next, make a book with two letter words.  Put two circles at the top of the page and write a letter in each circle.  Write the two letter word in the circle at the bottom of the page as shown.  Children pretend to lick their palms as they say the individual letters.  Clap hands as they say the word.

Read the Room  - Children put on an empty pair of glasses and use a pointer as they walk around the room and read words, signs, labels, poems, and other classroom print.
*Let children do this with a partner.  One child is the “teacher” and points to words.  The second child is the “student” and reads the words.

d.  Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.

Rhyme Time – Have children identify rhyming words from songs, poems, and chants.  Write the words on the board.  Underline the letters that are the same.  Circle the letters that are different.

Word Families - Write words from the songs in RF.K.2.c on the board.  Use highlighting tape or a flashlight to focus on the onsets in each word.

I visited Stiles Point (one of my FAVORITE schools in Charleston) yesterday and sang with the children.  Oh, they filled my heart!  One teacher said they do the Tooty Ta every "Tooty Ta Tuesday."