Friday, January 6, 2012

Sight Word Ideas

Sight Words
Every day (or as often as I can) I spend time going over our sight words for the week.  We usually have 5 sight words per week.  We usually go over them in the afternoon before we go to specials.  First we always read through them using flashcards.  Sometimes we read them in normal voices and sometimes we use different voices.  For example, we use a dinosaur voice (low scratchy voice), a mickey mouse voice (high voice), a daddy voice (low voice), we sing (usually opera style), we rap them (flipping the cards as fast as I can to kinda sound like rapping).  Sometimes I choose the kind of voice we use and sometimes I draw a name to pick the kind of voice.  Sometimes I make up a voice, like today (Pig Pen from the Peanuts) for us to use.  Sometimes we say the words 3 times each and sometimes 5 times each.  After we go through the sight words, then we play some sort of game.

Students playing the Swat game.
This game is called Swat.  I lay my sight words out on my carpet.  Then my students sit behind the red line of the carpet.  I give a fly swatter to two students.  They stand up behind the yellow carpet line and wait for me to tell them a word to swat.  Once they find the words, they use the fly swatter and swat the word.  Sometimes I play boys versus girls or separate them into teams, but sometimes I don't separate them into teams and just call two kids to go.  Both ways, the students LOVE this game!!  They love the fly swatters.

Student playing the Path game.
The next game I play is I lay out the cards in a path.  Then I call a student up and they hop the path only moving when they say the word correctly.  I have also played this game with partners.  One hops the path and the other is the referee.  The referee helps them figure out a word if they do not know it, but the referee is not allowed to tell them the word, they have to give hints to the child hopping.  

Students playing the 'Bam" game.
The next game is called BAM!  The students sit in a circle around my carpet.   Inside of a cup I have all the sight words we have covered written on Popsicle sticks and a handful of sticks with the word 'bam' on them.  I give the cup of sticks to a student and they pick a stick out of the cup.  I told my class they had to look up when picking out a stick because I had some students looking inside the cup and choosing words they know.  Once the stick is picked, they read the word.  If they read it correctly, they keep the stick and lay it on the floor in front of them.  If they can't read the word the students help them but then they have to return the stick to the cup.  If they choose the word 'bam' they have to put back all the sticks they earned.  The student with the most sticks wins. 

Arould the World
Another game I play is called Around the World.  Students sit at their seat for this game.  Two students who sit beside each other stand up.  I show them a sight word flash card and the first one to say the word correctly gets to move to the next person.  The more they say first, the more times they get to move.  If they get the word wrong, the student sits back down at whoevers seat they are at when they didn't say the word first.  The object is to try to go all the way around the 'world' or by everyone's seat in the classroom and end back at your own seat. 

Where's Wiggles?
This game is from Heidisongs.  For this game you set up sight words on a pocket chart.  Behind the sight words you put these cards that have different actions that Wiggles (a dog) would do.  Before the students start playing, you teach them all the different actions.  For example one is 'chase your tail.'  So for this one the students stand up and run around a circle and sit back down.  To play, a student comes up and reads one of the sight words.  If the child reads it corectly, then they look at the card behind the sight word to see if it is an action card or Wiggles.  If it is an action card then the class does the action.  If it is Wiggles the game is over.  

Table Snatch
Lay the sight words out on a table.  Call a student up to the table and tell them a sight word to find.  Continue until all students get a sight word.

I also do other activities beside the games to help the students learn the sight words.  One of my favorite things to do is the songs from Heidisongs.  This wonderful teacher has made cds and dvds with numerous sight words and she has added motions to each song.  These songs are simple and easy to follow and learn.  They are so much fun!   I find myself singing them at home often.  

Rainbow Writing
The students first write the sight word using a pencil.  Then they trace the word with a crayon.  They continue tracing the sight word using a different color crayon for how old they are.  So, if they are five, they would trace the sight word 5 times using 5 different colors of crayons.  After the student traces the word, they say the sight word. 


I play a PowerPoint presentation that has all the sight words on it that we have learned.  When the words come up on the presentation, they class says them out loud as fast as they can. 

Jumping the Sight Words
Students spell the sight word while they are jumping up and down.  We also do this while exercising.

Shaving Cream

I go around to each child and give them a little bit of shaving cream on their table.  The students spread the shaving cream out covering their table.  I tell them a sight word and the students write the sight word in the shaving cream. 

Sand Table 
I use the sand table to help the students learn their sight words.  The students can use their fingers and spell the sight words.  I also write the sight words on index cards cut in quarters and put them in the sand box.  A student has to find one of the sight word cards.  Once a card is found, the student then says the word on the card. 

I use magazines and newspapers and have the students find sight words they know in them.  Once they find a word, they cut the word out and glue it on a paper. 

 Sight Word Apps
I have my students use numerous Sight Word Apps to help them learn the sight words.  In a previous blog I wrote about the different apps I use. Click HERE to check it out.  

Pom Poms
I pass out pom poms to the students and we cheer the sight words.  I don't have enough poms for each student so I pass out what I have and then we switch after each sight word we cheer. 

Write, Stamp, Marker
This activity I usually have at a center.  The students get a half sheet of paper.  On that paper they number the paper 1-5.  The students choose a sight words we are working on for the week and they write the sight word after number one.  Then for number 2 they use a marker.  For number three they use a pen.  For number four the write the word with a pencil and the trace over the word with a highlighter.  For number five they use the alphabet stamps and stamp the word. 

 I hope you have received some more ideas for teaching your child/students sight words.  I am sure there are other things I use, but I can't seem to think of them for this post.  I have found if I just make up anything to do with my class and tell them that we are going to play a game, that the students end up thinking it is so much fun.  Like the saying, practice makes perfect, the more I feel I can go over them in class, the better the students will know them.  If you have any other activities you use to teach sight words with your class, I would love to hear them.  Please comment below!


  1. Great ideas, thanks for sharing, I am now following your blog!

  2. You gave me some new ideas...thanks! My kids also like using Bingo markers and making/spelling their sight words with beans or buttons.

  3. Amy- Thanks for checking them out! I hope you can use something from my blog. :) Also, thanks for following it.

  4. Lisa- I am glad you have some new ideas! I love using Bingo markers too. I forgot to add that one to my list. I love the bean idea. I will have to try that out. Thanks for following my blog. :)

  5. Thank you for your thoughts. I am a student studying teaching and I am doing a lesson plan on sight words so what you have done here is invaluable.