Sight word games are the best tool for teaching sight words
Sight word games are the best tool for teaching sight words. Especially effective are word wall games and songs that increase sight word memory. Children can learn sight words and remember them when the activities are fun and they are actively involved. Opportunities for movement and the use of music, art, and drama will strengthen memory and support learning especially for those students who are left-handed (right-brained.)
Writing sets of words on index cards makes it easy to play games both on and off the word wall.
Sight Word Games We Love
Sight Word Matching Game
Make two sets of cards for the same Dolch list. Use one to construct a word wall and use the others as a deck of cards. Give each child a card and ask her to find the same word on the wall. The first one to find a correct match earns one point, and the procedure is repeated.
Explain to children that in order to recognize a word, they must look at the whole word, not just the beginning or the end of it. Then have them "use their eyes" to spy different categories of words.
"Eye spy a word that...
- rhymes with pan"
- starts with /str/"
- ends with -ing"
Place cards in sight around the room, face down. (You don't want them to spend too much time hunting the words.) Give the group a signal to begin hunting for the words. When they have found them all, meet with the group and tell them they can keep only the words they are able to read. The person with the most cards at the end is the winner.
Word Wall Relays
Students form a line in front of a
. The first player bounces a ball on each word while reading it. After he has finished a row from left to right, he hands the ball to the next player who uses the same procedure to read the same row from right to left.
The ball is handed to the next player who reads the row from left to right, and so on, until all children have had a turn. Then the same procedure is used for the second row, and so on.
Skipping Game - for 4 (or 6) players
Students stand on either side of you where you stand holding a deck of Dolch word cards. Their partners stand across an open area of the room or playground.
Show one of the players standing next to you a card and ask him to read it. Taking the card, he skips to his partner across the room while you do the same for the student standing on your other side. When students reach the other side of the game area, they give the card to their partners who must read the card to them, then skip back to you where they will read it to you.
You will repeat the procedure with the students standing next to you as play continues until all words have been read.
Skipping builds pathways of communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, pathways that can also be used in reading as it is done from left to right. So this is an important game which is also a lot of fun!
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