Send Sight Word Activities Home January 07 2010

Sight Words are foundational for any young reader. And as a teacher, you know there are only so many hours in a day that you have to help kids learn those valuable building blocks of reading. Why not send Sight Word Activities home, and make them fun at the same time?

Encourage Parents To Have Fun

As the parent of a second-grader, I'm familiar with the packets of homework pages that are sent home each week. Usually, in the midst of the packet are Sight Word lists, organized by grade level from Kindergarten through Third grade.

As the parent of a second grader, it's my job to help my child learn to recognize and spell these sight words. At this point, we've only used flashcards and practiced spelling skills (both oral and written), which are important. However, there are several words to learn on Sight Word lists, and it can become a bit tedious to spell them all one after the other, and flash cards lose whatever flare they had pretty quickly. So why not provide ways for Sight Word homework to be more fun?

At the beginning of the year, make and distribute Sight Word packets for each family that include the DOLCH lists as well as a collection of activities and games to play with their children at home using these sight words . This will help parents who want their children to have more practice, as well as provide them with an overall sense of what reading skills their children are working on.

Sight Word lists still have a place in weekly homework packets; however, use these weekly packets to review selected sight words and include a game to remind parents to practice sight words in a fun way. Parents are busy, so keep the Sight Word Activities and Games simple. Instructions and materials are provided below so that you can start using these Sight Word Activities and Games right away.

Sight Word Activities

In weekly homework packets, it might be a good idea to focus on a specific group of Sight Words each week. Photocopy the list of words you've chosen, then include a description of one of the activities below.

Rhyme It! - In the first column, list the Sight Words. In the second, third and fourth columns, write words that rhyme with the Sight Word.

Sketch It - In the first column, list the Sight words. In the second column, students make a sketch that incorporates the Sight Word.

Find it - Send home a list of Sight Words for students to find in books while they read with their parents each night. Have them cross off each word as it's found.

Label It - provide  Sight Word Cards, filled out with the Sight Words for the week.  Instruct students and parents to use these as labels and attach them around the house. For example, one sight word is "brown," which students and parents could attach to something that is the color brown.

Sight Word Games

To keep parents from feeling overwhelmed, use a set of basic games and these Sight Word Cards as a card template. You could fill them out and photocopy them with words for the week, or send home a list of Sight Words and have parents and students fill them out.

*Go Fish - Make two to four cards for each Sight Word. Depending on how many total cards there are, shuffle the cards and deal 3 to 5 to each person playing, and put the rest of the deck in the center. Each player takes a turn, asking one other player in the game for a card they need "Do you have a --?" If the other player has the requested card, he or she has to give it to the asker. If not, the player must draw a card from the center pile. As players make matches of two, they lay down their pairs. The game is over when no more matches can be made. The player with the most matches wins!

*Memory - Make two cards for each Sight Word, cut apart, and lay facedown in a grid. Each player takes turns, flipping over two cards at a time and reading the Sight Words that appear. If the two cards match, the player takes the pair and gets another turn. If not, the cards are turned face down and another person gets a turn. The game is over when there are no more cards on the table. The player with the most matches wins!

*Pass the Bag or Pass the Can - Use a small paper bag or a recycled can. Write down a Sight Word, one to a card. On 1 or 2 additional cards, write the word "Gotcha!" or something similar. Pass the bag or can around to each person playing. As the player gets the bag or can, he/she draws out a card, reads it and keeps it. Then the bag or can is passed on. When a player gets a "Gotcha!" card, the passing stops and each player counts how many cards they have. Whoever has the most cards is the winner! (if there are several Sight Words, consider adding more "Gotcha!" cards).

*Bingo - On the Bingo Board, each player writes down a Sight Word, one to a square (the center is a FREE space). Use the Sight Word card template to write down each Sight Word, one to a card. Cut them and put them into a bowl or bag, and draw cards out one at a time. As Sight Words are called out, players mark them until they get five in a row - BINGO!

Sight Word practice can be fun, especially at home as part of homework activities. These simple Sight Word Games and Activities will help your students practice their Sight Words and have fun in the process!