i‑Learner Education Centre


Teaching Sight Words Through Games

As Miss Lucy discussed in last week’s article, sight words, or high frequency words, are those which appear frequently in English writing. Being able to spot them can definitely help a child’s reading speed and fluency. These words can seem very easy to learn (some are only 1 or 2 letters long), however, they can be difficult for young learners since they can have abstract meanings (e.g. it, be, will) and many don’t follow phonics rules (e.g. said, was, has).

Games are the best way to help early learners remember these words. Try these ones out for a fun and engaging way to give your child’s reading a boost:

Memory pairs
Take 10 pieces of card (roughly playing-card sized works best) and write a sight word on the back of each. Pick 5 sight words and write each word twice. Shuffle the cards and lay them face down on a table. Take it in turns with your child to try to find the pairs, turning over 2 cards each round. Make sure to read the words out as you reveal them. Create more pairs to make it more challenging when your child in confident with the first 5.

Sight words hunt
Create a list of sight words for the game – 5 words is a good number to start with. Go through the words with your child, then cut out the words and hide them in different places around the room for your child to find. Each time they find a word, have them read it aloud. Add more words to the list once they’ve learned these first 5. This game works especially well with more than one child, so invite a friend to play as well!

All young children love playing games! They’re sure to love these ones and they’ll be learning at the same time! Make sure to praise and encourage your child every time they memorise a new sight word and they’ll soon find reading fun!

Our Pre-School English courses introduce phonics from level 3. Students who need an extra boost in this area can also join i-Learner’s Phonics and Reading Aloud courses.