Sight words are typically words the reader recognizes almost instantly and with little conscious effort. Some people also use the term high-frequency words. High-frequency words are words that appear most frequently in reading and writing in the English language.
Click to view Dolch Words at a glance
If students are to read quickly and fluently, they must have these high-frequency words memorized by sight; otherwise, decoding will take up much time and effort, frustrating the reader and blocking easy comprehension.
The Dolch Sight Word List was compiled by E.W. Dolch in 1936 to assist reading fluency.
Description of Dolch List:
- Dolch referred to these words as "tool" or "service" words because they are used in all writing, regardless of subject matter.
- The Dolch List does not include nouns, unless a word such as walk can be used for different parts of speech. Dolch published a lesser-known list of 95 nouns that were common to the three sources he used to identify the Dolch list.
- Dolch's sight words represent approximately half of the words included in printed material and he encouraged every child to learn to recognize these words instantly.
- The Dolch List contains 220 words, including:
- 6 conjunctions – used to join clauses
- 16 prepositions – used to introduce phrases
- 26 pronouns – used to represent person or things
- 34 adverbs – used to modify verbs
- 46 adjectives – used to modify nouns
- 92 verbs – used to denote action
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) was challenged to write and illustrate a children's primer using the 220 Dolch words. The result was The Cat in the Hat.
You can import any of the Dolch Sight Word Lists to play Dolch word games, create Dolch words flash cards, or generate printable Dolch worksheets for your students. Some great Dolch Sight words Kindergarten games include Spelling TeachMe, Word-O-Pillar, Unscramble, and Missing Letter.
Did you know that Dr. Fry expanded on Dolch's Sight Word Lists? Fry researched and published a book titled "Fry 1000 Instant Words" in 1996. Fry Words are typically studied in first through fifth grade.