How do I Know Which Sight Words to Teach my Child?

Although schools and school districts have specific lists of words they want students to learn at each grade level, we still receive many phone calls and emails from parents asking us which lists of words they need for their children.

While our SnapWords® are meant to be used in an open learning environment that allows children to explore all lists of words regardless of their age, for those parents and teachers who prefer a more structured method of teaching, we have labeled our products by grade level.

Of course, while we have arranged our Lists of sight words by grade level, if you are just beginning to work with a second-grade student, make sure he or she also is fluent with earlier lists of words. Don’t just start with the packs of sight word flash cards we have identified for second grade.

Here is how we roll:

Preschool Sight Words

These are the list of words we recommend for preschoolers:

I would recommend teaching number and color words very early.

You can slip the sight words into a photo album with plastic sleeves so you can turn the pages like a book and provide a bit of protection for the cards OR you can display the words on a wall or in a pocket chart so the words are visible easily to the child.

Teaching Numbers, Colors, Days, Months, & Seasons:

SnapWords Numbers, Colors, Days, Months, & Seasons Cards

Choose a number SnapWords® card and talk about the word, what it looks like, what the image is all about.

Next, let your child collect little sets of objects (pebbles, toy cars, etc.) and make little piles of them near the number sight word flash card you selected for the day.

Practice counting the sets to be sure there are the correct number to match the card.

For teaching colors, select a card and then have the child find things in his or her environment that match the color on the card. If you have more than one child playing, you might want to let each one have their own color word.

Once your child has learned a few number words, a fun activity would be to have him or her put the correct number of objects beside each number he or she can read. Also, once he or she knows several color words, have the child place a matching colored object next to each word in the pile.


Teaching List A Preschool Sight Words:

SnapWords List A Cards

Go here to get some instructions for how to select words to teach together. Collect the first set of words from that blog post and put them into your pocket chart. At the bottom of the blog post are simple steps to follow to teach the words. With the very young, it is best to not pressure nor to overtly teach the child. Just let the words with their colorful images BE there for the child to notice. The image is the vehicle for learning, not the words a teacher might say! 

These words are the smallest words your child will learn to read, and that is the great news! Another happy thought is that these words appear everywhere in print! The one downer is that many of them are intangibles or are abstract concepts that could make learning difficult for some children. Consider the words “as, the, am, is” and other words that are neither objects nor actions. They can be very hard to get a mental picture of! So this is where our SnapWords® come in! We do the visuals for you!

Kindergarten Sight Words

Kindergarteners are able to learn so many words if they have access to the sight word picture cards! I always proceeded at the child’s rate of learning.

Recommended lists to teach Kindergarteners include:

SnapWords® List B Teaching Cards

I would strongly recommend reviewing the first list of words (List A, Preschool Sight Words). Better have a solid foundation than to have him or her struggle a bit.

List B has 59 words. When you put this with the 59 words from List A (the Preschool Sight Words) you will have a lovely repertoire of words! But, don’t be surprised if your plan to work through those 142 words fails and you finish in March! OH NO! What will you do for the balance of the school year? Why reach for the First Grade Sight Words, of course!


First Grade Sight Words

First grade sight words

First graders are voracious word eaters! They have the capacity to learn literally hundreds of words if you provide them with the colorful pictures and body motions that are embedded in SnapWords®. They might start out a bit slowly, but once they get used to relying on their visual memory and their natural talent for movement, their learning rate will speed up and you will be running to keep up with them!

The lists of sight words to add to the Preschool Sight Words and the Kindergarten Sight Words are these: 

SnapWords® List C Teaching Cards

SnapWords® List F Teaching Cards

Second Grade Sight Words

If you are beginning with second graders who have not been exposed to SnapWords®, make sure and go back to the earliest lists so they will be completely fluent at reading their sight words at a glance. 

To those earlier SnapWords®, add these Lists:

SnapWords® List D Teaching Cards

SnapWords® List G Teaching Cards

SnapWords® Nouns List 1 Teaching Cards

Second grade is your last year to luxuriate in making sure your children are comfortable with reading and reading comprehension, so include a lot of sentence building activities that use SnapWords®. Once Third Grade is upon them, the students will be using their reading skills to read other curricular content and if they are struggling with reading at all, the struggle will also spill over into their other subjects.

Third Grade Sight Words

If you are teaching third graders, make sure they are fluent with the previous lists, but then quickly jump into these last words to make sure they are ready to begin reading across the curriculum:

SnapWords® List E Teaching Cards

SnapWords® Nouns List 2 Teaching Cards

SnapWords® Verbs Teaching Cards

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