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10 Fun Activities to Practice High Frequency Words
Help your early readers become strong readers with fun activities to practice high frequency words. Whether you are looking for activities to do at home or in the classroom, these 10 games for high frequency words will help your reader build fluency, reinforce high frequency words, and engage them with hands-on reading strategies.
As a former kindergarten teacher, parents often ask me “How do I teach my 5 year old sight words?”, and “How can I make learning sight words fun?”. The truth is there are many ways to make learning to read fun.
These 10 sight word activities will engage kids in a multi-sensory approach to learning how to read. Both parents and teachers will see that fun sight word games are at their fingertips with many of these household items.
What are High Frequency Words
High frequency words, also referred to as sight words, are the words most commonly found in text. According to Reading A-Z, 50 percent of all text is composed of high frequency words.
Why are High Frequency Words Important
Sometimes known as sight words, high frequency words are important to learn to become a fluent reader. A reader’s fluency is composed of their speed, accuracy, and expression. If the kids become stuck on sounding out word by word, they will lose comprehension. Therefore, by learning to read these most commonly used words in text (high frequency words) by memorization, emergent readers will instantly recognize these words and increase their speed and accuracy.
10 Activities to Practice High Frequency Words
1. Popsicle Stick Sight Word Game
Write the sight words on Popsicle sticks. Write “DYNAMITE” on a couple sticks. Put them in a jar. Pull them out
one-by-one, read the word. If you pull dynamite, you have to put them all back in the jar.
I used this game often as a reading tutor for kindergarten, first, and second grade. We would play in a small group, but this is also great as a time filler for the whole class.
As my daughter started learning how to read, I would practice her high frequency sight words for kindergarten using this game. She loved it!
2. Magnetic Letter Sight Words
Spelling sight words with magnetic letters is a simple hands-on approach to reading.
You can build high frequency words on a file cabinet, refrigerator, on a magnetic dry-erase board, or without a magnetic surface. Simply lay the magnetic letters out on a table to spell the sight words.
3. Sight Word Hunt
Search for & read sight words hung around the classroom or house. And, when you are running errands, encourage your little one to look for words they know on signs around town.
4. Sight Word War
Playing with a partner, use 2 stacks of sight word cards, each player flips over a card. Whoever reads the word first keeps the cards. Person with most cards wins!
5. Shaving Cream Sight Words
Write the high frequency words in a dab of shaving cream on the table. Shaving cream writing is excellent for sensory based interventions.
Using shaving cream for spelling words and writing sight words are just a few of the shaving cream activities for kids who are kinesthetic learners. You can also make shaving cream playdough and have the kids make the words with that.
6. LEGO Sight Word Game
Use dry erase markers to write sight words on the side of legos, and place them in a pile. Call out a word, have your child find the lego with that word, and add to the tower. There are endless sight word lego activities for kids.
If your child is doing well at recognizing the sight words, but has difficulty spelling them, you can write individual letters on the legos and have them build the word.
You will want to use the large Mega Blocks if writing the whole word, such as the ones used for my pictures. The standard lego size is too small. Did you know LEGOS are on my list for the 10 Best Learning Toys for Kids?
7. Flashlight Tag With Sight Words
Hang sight words around the house, or in the classroom. Then, turn off the lights, call out a sight word, and have your little learner find it with a flashlight.
8. Sight Word Tallies
Write 5 sight words on a piece of paper. Search through books and magazines, and put tally marks next to the
words as you find the words.
9. PlayDoh Sight Words
Use playdoh to form the letters and build the sight words. In the video below, you will see how my first grade students used playdough to make high frequency words. After they form the word, they trace it with their finger, then use the word in a sentence. As a follow up, have your kiddos write the sight word, or write a sentence using the sight word.
10. Sight Word Flash Cards
Print a set of sight word flashcards, or write the words on index cards, and review 5-10 a night. These sight word cards are also great as a visual when doing the activities listed above.