The Dolch word list contains the most commonly-used words in the English-language that must be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency. Also known as sight words or high frequency words, they account for 50 to 75 percent of the words that appear in schoolbooks, library books, newspapers, and magazines, so it’s important for children to learn the correct spelling and to recognize the words instantly by sight. This allows the child to concentrate on reading comprehension without having to stop and decode each word.
The list is divided according to the grade levels students are typically expected to learn and master the words. Sight word practice begins in pre-kindergarten, with words such as a, and, I, and you, and continues through Grade 3 with more complicated words such as laugh, light, shall, and together.
The list was originally compiled by Edward William Dolch, and published in 1948. The list of 220 words includes:
- 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
Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was challenged to write and illustrate a children’s primer using the 220 Dolch words. The result wasThe Cat in the Hat.
Dr. Edward Fry expanded the Dolch list in 1996 and published a book titled Fry 1000 Instant Words. Fry’s Instant Words are typically studied in first through fifth grade.
Pre-K Dolch Sight Word List 2: funny, go, here, help, I, in, is, it, jump, little
Pre-K Dolch Sight Word List 3: away, big, blue, come, down, find, look, one, play, said
Pre-K Dolch Sight Word List 4: see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
Kindergarten – Dolch Sight Word List 1: ate, all, four, they, saw, please, good, now, under, into
Kindergarten – Dolch Sight Word List 2: soon, will, brown, like, have, came, pretty, well, are, too
Kindergarten – Dolch Sight Word List 3: yes, black, did, must, want, there, that, at, white, was
Kindergarten – Dolch Sight Word List 4: be, she, what, ran, went, no, our, get, eat, this, he
Kindergarten – Dolch Sight Word List 5: with, on, say, so, do, but, new, ride, who, am, out
1st Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 1: ask, from, of, give, just, any, how, an, as, his
1st Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 2: fly, her, had, could, after, again, every, him, going, has
1st Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 3: by, let, live, open, were, over, when, think, thank, once
1st Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 4: then, old, stop, round, put, some, walk, them, know, may, take
2nd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 1: always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold
2nd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 2: does, don’t, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its
2nd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 3: made, many, pull, read, right, sing, sleep, tell, their, these
2nd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 4: those, upon, very, wash, which, wish, work, would, write, your
3rd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 1: about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight
3rd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 2: fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep
3rd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 3: kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick
3rd Grade – Dolch Sight Word List 4: seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, warm
Dolch Noun Word List 1: bed, bell, box, boy, cake, car, cat, cow, day, dog
Dolch Noun Word List 2: doll, door, duck, eye, farm, girl, hill, pig, rain, ring
Dolch Noun Word List 3: fire, ball, time, leg, floor, way, toy, sun, back, feet
Dolch Noun Word List 4: top, fish, apple, baby, game, flower, egg, milk, tree, bear
Dolch Noun Word List 5: boat, window, brother, thing, school, morning, children, table, bird, birthday
Dolch Noun Word List 6: bread, chicken, farmer, father, man, men, Santa Claus, seed, sheep, wood
Dolch Noun Word List 7: Christmas, corn, garden, good-bye, grass, ground, horse, paper, party, water
Dolch Noun Word List 8: coat, hand, home, house, night, picture, squirrel, stick, street, watch
Spelling TeachMe helps students know and memorize spelling and vocabulary words.
Play Spelling TeachMe with a word list for Dolch nouns.
Word-O-Pillar provides practice unscrambling letters to form words.
Play Word-O-Pillar with a word list for 1st Grade Dolch words.
Word Unscramble provides practice rearranging letters to correctly spell words.
Play Word Unscramble with a word list for 3rd Grade Dolch words.