We often tend to forget that early learning can be so much fun and engaging when one moves away from the monotonous methods. The land of early learning is flexible; it allows you to teach one individual concept in a million ways. In this blog, we are going to share multiple strategies for you to introduce Sight words to your child.
Let us first understand what Sight Words are and why it is important to learn them. Sight words are commonly occurring words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole, by sight, without sounding out each letter individually.
For example, the sight word ‘the’ is not sounded out as /t/ /h/ /e/individually but as /the/ as a whole
They are also called tricky words or high frequency words. Kutuki’s experts have created a list of important sight words that preschoolers can be introduced to. These sight words are taught in Kutuki’s Phonics Program :
Sight words can be automatically recognized in print without having to use any strategies to decode. Recognizing sight words help preschoolers become faster and more fluent readers since they are found in story books, early reader’s texts, rhymes and much more.
To support preschool educators and parents, we are sharing creative and developmentally appropriate strategies for you to teach your child sight words
Before we start, here are some important points you must keep in mind before you introduce sight words to a child.
- You must start teaching sight words only after your child can recognize and name all the lower-case letters of the alphabet.
- You can ideally start teaching sight words from the age of four.
- Always remember to teach one sight word at a time.
- Do not break a sight word into individual letter sounds but instead sound it out as a whole. For example, the sight word ‘the’ is not sounded out as /t/ /h/ /e/individually but as /the/ as a whole
These activities have been recommended by our Phonics experts at Kutuki based on methods and that have been tried and tested. These can be easily implemented at home with minimal resources.
Sensory tubs are a great way to introduce sight words kinesthetically. This will help children touch, feel and connect with the form of these words and build recall quickly.For this activity, you need a tub or a box of any size. You can then fill it with dried oats, puffed rice, rava (semolina) or salt. Once you have added your base, you can call out a sight word and ask your child to trace the sight word with their fingers or you can add letters in the tub and ask them to find the letters and sound out the sight word as a whole. You can repeat this activity with several words of your choice. It’s simple and fun.
Skills you’ll learn: Promotes Motor Skills, Language Development and Cognitive Growth.
This is a little DIY activity that you can do with your child. You must first make a medium-sized cube. You can either take any old cardboard box and wrap it with colourful paper all around with the help of a tape. Once your cube is ready, write down the sight words of your choice on all sides of the cube, just like the one below.
Here’s how you must use the word cube. Your child can roll the cube like a dice and sound out the sight word that comes up as a whole. This sight word activity will be incredibly fun in a classroom setting, but we also have a fun worksheet to implement this in a virtual preschool setting as well. Here is a sample.
Skills you’ll learn: Reading fluency, spelling skills and social interaction.
One of the most exciting ways to learn sight words would probably be through Squishy Bags.Take a ziploc bag and fill it with rice, coloured salt, shaving cream or coloured thermocol balls. Go ahead and get as creative as possible here! You can then pick a few sight words of your choice and play the game in two ways;
- Add cutouts of letters in the squishy bag and jumble them up. Call out a sight word. Ask the child to find the letters that form the sight word and bring them together with their fingers and call it out as a whole.
- You could also read out a sight word and ask your child to trace it out.
Squishy bags are quite flexible and you can use them multiple times.
Skills you’ll learn: Finger strength, hand-eye coordination, pre-writing skills.
Sight Word Sentence Starter!
This is a great activity to apply sight words in everyday conversation. Once your child has learnt a few sight words, demonstrate how you can use it in a sentence and then ask your child to make up their own sentence too.
E.g. Parents / Educators can say, “This is how I use you in a sentence – You are my sister!”
Can you try using ‘you’ and make your own sentence?
Using sight words in the context of a sentence is sure to help your child apply it meaningfully in everyday conversation with friends and family.
Still, wondering how to get started on your child’s learning journey?
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If you follow any other unique methods to teach sight words, comment them down below!