What are Sight Words? | Reading 

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Sight words are an important part of learning to read fluently, but they don’t have to be intimidating. There are 300 to 400 sight words that should be mastered by the end of first grade. About half of those words are from the Dolch Sight Word List and the rest come from the Fry Sight Words list. A sight word is a high-frequency word; it’s used frequently in our language and children need lots of exposure before learning how to read them fluently. High-frequency words are words that children need in order to read fluently because they don’t follow the rules of phonetic spelling like other words do 

There’s no set time when your child will learn to read. Some children may be ready in kindergarten, while others might not be able to read until second or third grade.  These words make up about 70% of what is written in books for children at this age, so if you’ve got a bookworm on your hands who loves being read to, there’s a good chance he or she knows most of these words already! 

You may have heard of the Fry and Dolch sight word lists. These are two lists of commonly used words in American children’s books, designed to help children recognize the most frequently occurring words in written language. 

The Fry list was created by Edward B. Fry and consists of 220 words that he studied based on his analysis of texts from school readers then available in the United States. In addition to studying the frequency rates with which these words appear in the text, he also looked at their distribution within sentences (ie: do they tend to occur at beginnings or ends?). He found that many more than 220 sight words occurred with sufficient frequency for a second-grader (ages 7-8) while only about 120 occurred with sufficient frequency for a first-grader (ages 6-7). 

The Dolch list was developed by Edward William Dolch around 1936 based on an earlier study done by William S Hartman who concluded that by grade six students should be able to read most printed materials without difficulty if they knew 220 sight words plus some irregularly spelled words such as “have” vs “of.” The list includes 237 high-frequency monosyllabic words including pronouns (“me,” “my”), common conjunctions (“and,” “or”), prepositions (“at”, “in”) as well as articles (“the”) and auxiliary verbs (“can”). 

A sight word is a high-frequency word. 

The goal of sight word practice is to help children become fluent readers. Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and automatically, rather than sounding out each individual word. 

Sight words are high-frequency words that occur frequently in print, but do not follow the rules of phonetic spelling (for example, “can” is spelled c-a-n). These words need to be memorized because they cannot be sounded out from their letters and are not learned from context or other clues. 

Sight words are an important part of learning to read fluently because they allow you to identify the meaning of a sentence quickly. This can help your child read more quickly and confidently without stumbling over unfamiliar words or sounding them out excessively instead of just using context clues. 

High-frequency words are words that children need in order to read fluently. 

High-frequency words are the most frequently used words in the English language. They should be taught through repetition, as well as lots of reading practice. Sight words are an important part of learning to read fluently, but they don’t have to be intimidating! 

Many parents and teachers believe that teaching sight words is something only done in kindergarten and first grade – but this isn’t true! Children need these words even more later on because they will appear again and again throughout their school career. In fact, some research suggests that children who learn their high-frequency words early tend to have an easier time developing reading comprehension skills later on because those high-frequency words form a foundation for learning new knowledge about letters and sounds. 

Sight words need to be memorized because they don’t follow the rules of phonetic spelling. 

Sight words are not phonetic. This means that they do not follow the rules of phonetic spelling, which is why we have to memorize them. 

There are a few different types of sight words, but they all fall under one of three categories: 

  • Sight words that can be decoded with the help of another word: These include “can,” “have,” and “was.” If you know what these words mean, then you can use them as clues to figure out what others mean. For example, if you see “candy” on a list for your five-year-old son’s birthday party decorations, he might ask if he can have some candy at his party (instead of asking for it specifically). 
  • Sight words that are predictable based on context clues: These include common phrases like “I think so” or “good morning.” It’s easy to guess what these mean because they’re part of everyday language from people who don’t want something specific like an answer or request; they just want acknowledgment from someone else who understands how life works together with other people living nearby in similar circumstances. 

It may seem strange at first glance how there could be so many different types of sight word learning materials available online—and sometimes even within classrooms themselves! But when broken down into their constituent parts (phonological awareness), students will find it easier than ever before–especially since teachers don’t need any extra training beyond what they’ve already received through undergraduate education programs: 

These words should be taught through repetition and lots of reading practice. 

The key to mastering sight words is repetition, reading practice, and being able to recognize them at a quick glance. Students should be encouraged to read the sight word out loud as well as in sentences and stories. You may want to make up your own sentence for practice or use one of these examples: (“The cat sat on a mat.”) or (“I like apples.”) Make sure students are not guessing which word has been said before moving on from one sentence to another (or from one book page to another) until they have learned all of them! 

Sight words are an important part of learning to read fluently, but they don’t have to be intimidating 

As you may know, sight words are words that have to be memorized because they cannot be sounded out. They’re the most common words in the English language and thus, accounting for about 50% of text in any given book or article. Learning to recognize these sight words is important because it allows you to read faster and with greater accuracy. 

However, learning them can feel like a daunting task at first. The reason why sight words are so hard to remember is because they don’t follow phonetic spelling rules like other words do (for example: cat has three letters and two sounds). In this guide we’ll explore some ways you can make learning sight words easier! 


Sight words are an important part of learning to read fluently. But they don’t have to be intimidating. With enough practice, you will be able to recognize these words without even thinking about it. 

list of the top 100 most important grade 1 sight words with examples: 

  • a – I have a cat. 
  • and – John and Mary went to the park. 
  • are – The flowers are beautiful. 
  • as – She sang as she danced. 
  • at – Meet me at the park. 
  • be – I want to be a doctor. 
  • but – I like ice cream, but I don’t like cake. 
  • by – The book was written by Mark Twain. 
  • can – Can you help me? 
  • do – What do you want to do today? 
  • for – This gift is for you. 
  • from – I received a letter from my friend. 
  • had – She had a great time at the party. 
  • have – I have a blue pen. 
  • he – He is my best friend. 
  • here – Come here and sit next to me. 
  • his – His car is parked outside. 
  • I – I love playing soccer. 
  • in – The cat is hiding in the box. 
  • is – The sun is shining. 
  • it – Can you pass me the book? It is on the table. 
  • like – I like ice cream. 
  • look – Look at the beautiful sunset. 
  • me – Can you help me with my homework? 
  • my – This is my house. 
  • no – I have no more cookies. 
  • not – I am not tired. 
  • of – The top of the mountain is covered in snow. 
  • on – The cat is sitting on the chair. 
  • one – Can I have one cookie, please? 
  • or – Would you like coffee or tea? 
  • play – Let’s go outside and play. 
  • said – “I’ll be there,” he said. 
  • see – I can see a bird in the tree. 
  • she – She is a talented musician. 
  • that – Give me that book. 
  • – The dog is barking. 
  • there – Look, there is a rainbow! 
  • they – They are going to the movies. 
  • – This is my favorite song. 
  • to – I want to go to the park. 
  • up – Jump up and touch the ceiling. 
  • was – The party was fun. 
  • we – We went to the beach. 
  • went – They went on a vacation. 
  • what – What is your favorite color? 
  • when – I will see you when you get home. 
  • where – Where is the nearest store? 
  • with – Can I go with you? 
  • you – Can you help me with my homework? 
  • all – All the students passed the test. 
  • am – I am happy. 
  • an – I saw an elephant at the zoo. 
  • any – Do you have any questions? 
  • are – We are going to the park. 
  • as – She jumped as high as she could. 
  • ask – Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 
  • by – The book was written by a famous author. 
  • come – Come and join us. 
  • could – Could you please pass the salt? 
  • day – It’s a beautiful day outside. 
  • did – What did you eat for lunch? 
  • eat – I want to eat pizza for dinner. 
  • get – Let’s get ice cream after dinner. 
  • go – I want to go to the park. 
  • had – She had a great time at the party. 
  • has – He has a new car. 
  • him – I saw him at the store. 
  • his – The book is his. 
  • how – How are you feeling today? 
  • if – If it rains, we’ll stay indoors. 
  • into – The cat jumped into the box. 
  • it – Can you pass it to me? 
  • its – The dog wagged its tail. 
  • jump – The frog can jump very high. 
  • just – I just finished my homework. 
  • know – Do you know the answer? 
  • let – Let me help you with that. 
  • like – I like to play soccer. 
  • little – She is a little girl. 
  • made – The cake was made by my mom. 
  • make – Can you make a paper airplane? 
  • may – May I have a glass of water? 
  • must – You must finish your homework before playing. 
  • new – I got a new toy. 
  • now – Can we go now? 
  • off – Turn the lights off. 
  • old – The house is old. 
  • one – Can I have one cookie? 
  • our – This is our house. 
  • out – Let’s go out and play. 
  • over – The bird flew over the trees. 
  • put – Please put your toys away. 
  • ran – The dog ran in the park. 
  • read – I love to read books. 
  • red – The apple is red. 
  • run – Let’s run to the finish line. 
  • saw – I saw a beautiful sunset. 
  • say – What did you say? 
  • she – She is my sister. 

These examples demonstrate the usage of sight words in context, helping children understand their meaning and reinforcing their recognition in reading and writing. 

Grade 2 Sight words

Here is the list of 100 Dolch Sight Words for Grade 2, with examples:

  1. always – She always wakes up early.
  2. around – The dog ran around the park.
  3. because – We stayed inside because it was raining.
  4. been – He has been to the zoo many times.
  5. before – Finish your homework before dinner.
  6. best – She won the award for the best artwork.
  7. both – They both like to play soccer.
  8. buy – Can you buy some milk from the store?
  9. call – I will call you later.
  10. cold – Bundle up, it’s cold outside.
  11. does – He does his homework every day.
  12. don’t – Don’t forget to turn off the lights.
  13. fast – The cheetah runs very fast.
  14. first – She finished first in the race.
  15. five – I have five apples.
  16. found – She found her lost toy under the bed.
  17. gave – He gave me a present for my birthday.
  18. goes – The bus goes to the school.
  19. green – The leaves on the trees are green.
  20. its – The dog wagged its tail.
  21. made – She made a beautiful painting.
  22. many – There are many books on the shelf.
  23. off – Please turn off the TV.
  24. or – Do you want an apple or an orange?
  25. pull – Can you help me pull the heavy box?
  26. read – She loves to read books.
  27. right – Turn right at the next intersection.
  28. sing – They love to sing songs together.
  29. sit – Please sit down on the chair.
  30. sleep – It’s time to go to sleep.
  31. tell – Can you tell me a story?
  32. their – The children finished their homework.
  33. these – These cookies are delicious.
  34. those – Look at those beautiful flowers.
  35. upon – The sun rises upon the horizon.
  36. us – Can you give us some directions?
  37. use – You can use the computer to do your work.
  38. very – She is very excited about the trip.
  39. wash – Please wash your hands before eating.
  40. which – Which color do you prefer?
  41. why – Why did you miss the bus?
  42. wish – I wish I could go to the beach.
  43. work – He works hard every day.
  44. would – Would you like some ice cream?
  45. write – She likes to write stories.
  46. your – Is this your book?
  47. about – Let’s talk about our plans for the weekend.
  48. better – You did better on your test this time.
  49. bring – Can you bring me a glass of water?
  50. carry – He can carry heavy bags.
  51. clean – Please clean your room.
  52. cut – Be careful when you cut with scissors.
  53. done – She is almost done with her project.
  54. draw – He loves to draw pictures.
  55. drink – Can I have a drink of water?
  56. eight – There are eight cookies in the jar.
  57. fall – The leaves fall from the trees in autumn.
  58. far – The store is far from here.
  59. full – The cup is full of juice.
  60. got – She got a new bike for her birthday.
  61. grow – Plants grow with sunlight and water.
  62. hold – Please hold the door open for me.
  63. hot – Be careful, the tea is hot.
  64. hurt – He fell and hurt his knee.
  65. if – If it rains, we will stay indoors.
  66. keep – Keep the door closed, please.
  67. kind – She is a kind and helpful person.
  68. laugh – The children laughed at the funny joke.
  69. light – The room is bright with light.
  70. long – The bridge is long and narrow.
  71. much – How much does it cost?
  72. myself – I can tie my shoes by myself.
  73. never – I never want to go to that restaurant again.
  74. only – He is the only one who knows the answer.
  75. own – She has her own room.
  76. pick – Can you help me pick up the toys?
  77. seven – There are seven days in a week.
  78. shall – Shall we go for a walk?
  79. show – She wants to show her artwork to everyone.
  80. six – There are six chairs around the table.
  81. small – The puppy is small and cute.
  82. start – Let’s start the game.
  83. ten – I have ten fingers.
  84. today – Today is a beautiful day.
  85. together – We work together as a team.
  86. try – Please try your best.
  87. warm – The sun feels warm on my skin.
  88. which – Which book do you want to read?
  89. why – Why did you come late?
  90. wish – I wish I could go on vacation.
  91. work – He has to work on weekends.
  92. would – Would you like some cake?
  93. write – She likes to write stories.
  94. your – Is this your backpack?
  95. always – She always says please and thank you.
  96. around – We walked around the park.
  97. because – He missed the bus because he woke up late.
  98. been – She has been to the beach many times.
  99. before – Finish your homework before playing.
  100. best – She won the award for the best dancer.

These words are frequently used in reading and understanding them will support reading fluency and comprehension in Grade 2.

Grade 3 Sight words

Here is a list of 100 Dolch Sight Words for Grade 3, with examples:

  1. about – “Tell me about your day.”
  2. better – “Practice will help you get better.”
  3. bring – “Please bring your textbook to class.”
  4. carry – “Can you carry these books for me?”
  5. clean – “Let’s clean up the classroom.”
  6. cut – “Be careful when you cut with scissors.”
  7. done – “I’m done with my homework.”
  8. draw – “Can you draw a picture for me?”
  9. drink – “Remember to drink water to stay hydrated.”
  10. eight – “There are eight students in the class.”
  11. fall – “Leaves fall from the trees in autumn.”
  12. far – “The park is far from our house.”
  13. full – “I feel full after eating dinner.”
  14. got – “I got a new book from the library.”
  15. grow – “Plants grow with sunlight and water.”
  16. hold – “Please hold my hand while we cross the street.”
  17. hot – “Be careful, the stove is hot.”
  18. hurt – “Did you hurt yourself while playing?”
  19. if – “If it rains, we’ll stay indoors.”
  20. keep – “Keep your room tidy.”
  21. kind – “Be kind to others.”
  22. laugh – “The joke made everyone laugh.”
  23. light – “Turn on the light, it’s dark in here.”
  24. long – “The movie was very long.”
  25. much – “Thank you so much for your help.”
  26. myself – “I can do it myself.”
  27. never – “I never want to go there again.”
  28. only – “She is the only one who can solve the puzzle.”
  29. own – “I have my own room.”
  30. pick – “Can you pick up that toy for me?”
  31. seven – “There are seven days in a week.”
  32. shall – “Shall we go for a walk?”
  33. show – “Can you show me how to do it?”
  34. six – “I have six crayons in my box.”
  35. small – “The puppy is small and cute.”
  36. start – “Let’s start the game.”
  37. ten – “Count from one to ten.”
  38. today – “What are we doing today?”
  39. together – “Let’s work together on this project.”
  40. try – “Don’t give up, try again.”
  41. warm – “I love the warm sunshine.”
  42. which – “Which book do you want to read?”
  43. why – “Why did you choose that color?”
  44. wish – “I wish I could go to the party.”
  45. work – “Let’s work on our homework together.”
  46. would – “Would you like some tea?”
  47. write – “Can you write your name?”
  48. your – “Is this your backpack?”
  49. always – “I will always be there for you.”
  50. around – “Let’s walk around the park.”
  51. because – “I brought my umbrella because it might rain.”
  52. been – “I have been to that museum before.”
  53. before – “Finish your breakfast before you leave.”
  54. best – “You did your best on the test.”
  55. both – “Both of them won the race.”
  56. buy – “I want to buy a new book.”
  57. call – “I will call you later.”
  58. cold – “Wear a jacket, it’s cold outside.”
  59. does – “Does she like to swim?”
  60. don’t – “Don’t touch the hot stove.”
  61. fast – “The cheetah is very fast.”
  62. first – “Who finished first in the race?”
  63. five – “Give me five high fives.”
  64. found – “I found my lost keys.”
  65. gave – “She gave me a present for my birthday.”
  66. goes – “The train goes to the city.”
  67. green – “The grass is green.”
  68. its – “The cat licked its paws.”
  69. made – “I made a drawing for you.”
  70. many – “There are many books on the shelf.”
  71. off – “Turn off the lights when you leave the room.”
  72. or – “Do you want chocolate or vanilla ice cream?”
  73. pull – “Can you help me pull the rope?”
  74. read – “I love to read books.”
  75. right – “Turn right at the intersection.”
  76. sing – “Let’s sing a song together.”
  77. sit – “Please sit down on the chair.”
  78. sleep – “It’s time to sleep.”
  79. tell – “Can you tell me a story?”
  80. their – “They found their lost dog.”
  81. these – “These cookies taste delicious.”
  82. those – “Look at those beautiful flowers.”
  83. upon – “Once upon a time, there was a princess.”
  84. us – “Can you play with us?”
  85. use – “Use a pencil to write.”
  86. very – “It’s a very hot day.”
  87. wash – “You should wash your hands before eating.”
  88. which – “Which color do you like?”
  89. why – “Why did you go to the park?”
  90. wish – “Make a wish before blowing out the candles.”
  91. work – “I have to work on my project.”
  92. would – “Would you like some ice cream?”
  93. write – “Please write your name on the paper.”
  94. your – “Is this your book?”
  95. again – “Let’s play the game again.”
  96. an – “I saw an interesting movie.”
  97. any – “Do you have any questions?”
  98. as – “He ran as fast as he could.”
  99. ask – “Don’t hesitate to ask for help.”
  100. by – “I like to travel by train.”

These words are frequently used in reading and understanding them will support reading fluency and comprehension in Grade 3.

Reference: Dolch Sight Words List | Sight Words: Teach Your Child to Read

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