Sight Words

You may find that there are some words which cannot be sounded out using phonics rules (eg ‘one’) or which, by itself, cannot be easily explained to a child (eg ‘is’, ‘to”). Such words form part of the ‘Sight Words’ list or commonly known as the ‘Dolch Word List’ and mastering them may enable a child to read more efficiently as the words in the list is said to make up 50-75% of all words used in books.

An example of the Dolch Word List can be found in this website.

Here is what I did with my then-5yr-old boy:

  • While the website split the word list into 3 sets, when I first introduced my elder boy to sight words, I split up the 220 words into sets of 10 words.
  • Paste/magnet the slip of paper on the fridge and go through it twice a day.
  • Replace the set with a fresh one when the boy has cleared all the words in the set.
  • Revise the previous sets once the boy has cleared the current set (eg when the boy had cleared Set 5, do a quick revision from Set 1-4 and so on).

It is prudent to note that while the child may be able to read sentences after he/she has mastered the sight word list, it will take reading practices for the child to be able to understand what he/she has read. 

By the age of 3 to 4,

By the age of 3 to 4, depending on the maturity of your child, the dolch list can be introduced to him/her as the sight words are very important to help a child in reading and comprehension.

I have encountered pupils who could not read sight words even in P1. Though, at 7, a child is still considered young, but not knowing sight words impedes in comprehension of simple instructions. This could have an adverse effect on most subjects which require English in the long run if help is not given. 

thanks for sharing!

nice suggestions!

thansk for the info

thansk for the info

You are welcome :)

there is certainly a lot of resources out there in cyberspace, so let’s share away! 🙂

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Thank You

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Thank You


Hi jedamum,

Thank you for the above article and the accompanying website.  I had no idea about the Dolch word list before this  I mean yes, I know that certain words have to learn ‘using sight’ like ‘I’, ‘You’ etc…, but this list is very helpful.

I now have a much better understanding about how the teaching of sight words go hand in hand with phonics.


Hi, My son can read most of


My son can read most of the primary books and other story books without any help. But what I want to know is whether he must be efficient enought to write them tooo….. Cos when it comes to writing he makes spelling mistakes(especially like  similar sounding  words)

The Ladybird Keyword Series

The Ladybird Keyword Series (Peter and Jane) teaches the same sight words through stories. Many pictures to keep the child interested. Every page introduces 1 or 2 new word. Each word is repeated more than 10 times throughout the book, so there is no need to keep reading the same page over and over again. My boy reads one page only once, every day he reads a new page.  He learns more than 200 words this way, before he turns 4 years old. I only need to spend less than 15 minutes a day to teach him. He is able to read the new page almost entirely by himself, I only need to prompt him on a few words that his is not very sure of.  No repetition and no drilling needed.  The story of Peter and Jane is interesting enough to keep him learning.  At the same time I am also teaching him phonics which is very important to help him remember the words, there is no need for him to memorize the spelling because he is able to read many of the words using phonics rules.





pranav, It's a good idea to


It’s a good idea to include the dolch words in the ‘must-spell-words-before-P1". 🙂

As to whether it is necessary for the child to know how to spell the words in the dolch list (or any other words) depends on the school’s standard and the parent’s expectations. However, it is not a bad idea to teach the child how to spell them for future comprehension and composition use, as the words make up bulk of any sentence structure (and that some of them can’t be spelled out using phonics).


Primary 1 children


Does a child going to Primary 1 should be efficient enough to know all the spelling  of the words in the Dolch words kit too…?

lolz. Sourcing for FREE


Sourcing for FREE online printable activities is also very addictive. Not to mention the potential risk of getting the computer infected with virus!

I blew my Sunday weekend...

… on the online jigsaw puzzles on the links found on the Dolch Word List site provided by jedamum.  Sigh.  It was so addictive.

very informative yet

very informative yet concise! Give me some ideas on what to put on the fridge which is one of my boy’s favorite hangouts.

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