Learning sight words is an important part of reading. Many words in English are phonetic and can be sounded out, about 85% to be exact. The remaining 15%, however, is comprised of words that cannot be sounded out (also known as Red Words in our Phonics First® and Structures® programs). They must be memorized! The task of learning sight words and constantly practicing and repeating them can become tiresome. Try out these fun ways to help your child master sight words!
Make it Multisensory
The more practice students have with sight words, the more confident of a reader they will become. These games can be played competitively between two players, or one on one (up the challenge by using a timer and making the following activities a race!). To prepare, write the sight words your child is learning on disposable cups with a permanent marker. Play one or all of the games below.
Each player holds a stack of cups. Players read a word on a cup, and build their pyramid. Start by setting 5 cups on the bottom row, then build 4 cups on top of the 5, then a row of 3, a row of 2, and lastly 1 on top. Whoever makes their pyramid first wins!
You will need 15 solo cups of one color and 1 cup that is a different color. Stack all of the cups together and put the different colored cup at the bottom. On “go,” each player reads the word on the top cup, then takes the top cup and puts it on the bottom. Players continue to move the cups from the top to the bottom until the different colored cup is at the top.
Cotton Ball Catch
This game will require one solo cup and a bunch of cotton balls. Write sight words with marker on cotton balls. Each player will place one solo cup on top of their head and keep it steady. With their other hand, grab a cotton ball, read the sight word on the ball, then throw into the cup. You may want to time this or give each person a specific number of cotton balls. You can only throw one cotton ball at a time and the cup must stay on the top of your head.
Have “Solo” much fun!
Written by Karen Oliverio
Karen is a Brainspring Tutor in Clarkston, Michigan and a Kindergarten Teacher in Pontiac, Michigan
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