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.

Eye Spy

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.

For example:

"Eye spy a word that...

  • rhymes with pan"
  • starts with /str/"
  • ends with -ing"

Word Hunt

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 word wall . 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!



Have a Great Dolch Word Game?

Do you have a great Dolch word game you'd like to share? As teachers, we don't have a lot of time to share ideas with one another. So why don't we do it here? Come on - it'll be fun, and we will all be better teachers for it!

Favorite Dolch Word Game

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Word Swat 
Split your students up into 2 teams. Have them stand in front of the word wall. Give each team a fly swatter. You call out a word and the first student …

High Five the Word 
I had a teacher a few years ago that would paste hand prints on the wall and hallway with a sight word on it. When children passed them, she would ask …

Sight Word Baseball Not rated yet
Sight Word Baseball Materials: Classroom with designated bases Dolch word flash cards An empty box covered with paper and packing tape. Each side …

Finger first (a games for 1 - 3 players) Not rated yet
Take 10 Dolch words that you want to teach the children. Write them on cards. (I usually laminate them for durability). Revise these words with explanations …

Poster or Chart Word Wall Game  Not rated yet
Similar to I Spy! Can be used as center game, small or large group or 1-1. Cut and paste words from magazines or newspaper scatter words all over the …

Around the World Not rated yet
Around the World is a game that can be played using most subject matter (usually played with math facts) and with any number of children. With sight words, …

Samson's Classroom Not rated yet
Samson's Classroom is a web-based game for teaching sight words. It is SO FUN! My students love Samson (the adorable dog who helps them learn their words) …

I use "Go Fish" to practice sight words Not rated yet
Just like the card game "Go Fish". Each student/tutor in my case are dealt five word cards. The student must read the word they are asking for. When …

"1-2-3 READ" Game Not rated yet
For one Teacher and one Student: Stack about 20 sight word cards(any kind) in a pile with Faces down. First Player(Student) He picks up one card …

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