Learning to recognize and read sight words is an extremely crucial component of building a competent reader. It’s a great challenge teaching young children how to read. After they master phonics, they level up and go beyond letter-sound recognition and production. Here comes the world of sight words!
How do you teach sight words creatively? You can use effective strategies to ensure that your pupils learn these vocabulary words. In this article, snatch the creative ways of teaching sight words so learning becomes more enjoyable and engaging.
Sight words must be taught to children. I’ll show you how to teach sight words creatively, that’s fun and exciting for your pupils. These words should be presented in a fun and systematic way so children won’t get bored.
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What are sight words?
Sight words are common words that can easily be read at a glance. Children in elementary school are expected to recognize sight words immediately. Hence, they should be taught to recognize and read sight words.
Sight words appear so often in a written context that beginning readers should easily read. These words should be recognizable either as a single component or as parts of a sentence.
Wikipedia defines sight words as…
“… high-frequency sight words that are commonly used to encourage young children to memorize as a whole by sight, so they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies.”
Thus, I ask how do you teach sight words creatively?
How Do You Teach Sight Words Creatively? 10 Fun and Engaging Ways
According to proponents of whole-word instruction, the ability to recognize many common sight words helps pupils to read more effectively. Hence, you’ve got to help your beginning readers in the classroom so they can develop their basic word recognition skills.
Multi-sensory ways of education are really important to me when it comes to learning. Apart from being engaging and entertaining for children, the more senses that are engaged, the more likely it is for them to learn and retain the words.
The activities listed below are some of my favorites for teaching my pupils (including my own kids) how to recognize and read sight words. So, if you’re both a teacher and a parent, it’s the right place for you. Hop in and let’s get started!
1. Spot My Sticky Words!
Teaching children to read sight words can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be tedious or time-consuming. You can make this activity really fun and exciting for early readers at home or at school. Spot My Sticky Words is a fun challenge for kids.
All you have to do is to prepare colorful sticky notes then write on different sight words. The written sight words should have a match on the board or on the wall.
You can use the whiteboard or blackboard to where the kids spot the sight words and match the sticky words. If a whiteboard is not available, you can use the plain wall to where your children can stick the words to their match on the wall.
Once done, let them read aloud each word. This is a sight word matching and hunting game that is exciting for children.
- Sticky notes of different colors
2. Stick to the Sunflowers!
Here’s another hands-on literacy game that will certainly make your children excited about learning sight words. Not only does this activity develop cognitive skills but also heightens the psychomotor skills of children.
As children rise up from their seats, move about, and paste the butterflies and bees on the flowers, they stretch their legs and hand muscles.
Certainly, your young learners will have a great time matching the insects to the sunflowers. You have to say out loud and let the children paste the butterflies or bees to the corresponding words. Then, you let them read the words. After that, you can have a drill of the words on the wall.
By and by, as children master all the words, they can read these foundational words without sounding the individual letter components. Hence, they develop reading speed and fluency.
- Bond paper
- Printer or marker
3. Read Sight Words on the Wall
You can teach as many sight words as you can through your bulletin board. Design your bulletins using characters and exciting illustrations. Your first aim is to get your pupils’ attention.
There are a lot of head-turning designs and colors you can choose from. In my example, I used butterflies. These creatures really have a lasting appeal in children.
It’s a fun way to practice sight words in the classroom. You can have this activity when kids are playing or not doing anything, if not in your reading time.
Reading sight words on the wall can be another positive learning experience for children. It’s not intimidating and it’s fun. This positive learning experience is one of the best hands-on practices on the list.
- Construction paper
4. Chant, Spell, Say It!
Another fun way of teaching sight words is by using PowerPoint presentations. It should be done with matching sounds so pupils get more excited to chant, spell, and read!
The slides should have images on them for easy retention and recognition. Teaching sight words through the use of visuals is another effective method for beginning reading.
The visuals are child-friendly, engaging, and provide an opportunity for instructive practices due to the variety of colorful images used.
My intention is to use this activity to have drills every morning and review sight words. Indeed, this learning tool is cool and gives excellent outcomes.
As a beneficial method, many teachers in elementary school are using PowerPoint presentations. Also, it’s another great way of integrating technology into learning.
- Laptop / Computer
- PowerPoint Presentation
You can create your own PowerPoint presentations or you can download ready-made interactive presentations at Teachers Pay Teachers.
5. Bowling Sight Words!
Bowling is fun! It’s much more creative to teach sight words using educational toys in the classroom or even at home. Plus, the visually-appealing colors and the exquisite design of the bowling set contribute to the interactive activity.
Moreover, this activity also improves hand-eye coordination and brings enjoyment to children while they’re mastering sight words.
As children watch them fall, they get thrilled as to what words are written on the fallen bowling pins. As they present them to you, let them say the written words! Indeed, this could be a moment of entertainment and learning in the classroom.
With this, you can assist your youngsters to develop fine and gross motor abilities, cognitive and spatial skills.
- Bowling toys
- Bond paper
6. Hang It Everywhere!
Here’s another way of increasing reading fluency in children. Hanging sight words everywhere in the classroom is a simple thing you can do to assist your pupils.
It’s another successful and enjoyable way to teach these little words to young learners. Prepare a list of sight words every week and hang them everywhere in the classroom.
Pupils will do something to the words in front of them. They will spell the words or copy them on their paper. Use colored paper and interesting designs to get your pupils’ attention.
- Laptop / computer
- Assorted colored paper
- Marker / Printer
7. Sight, Fan, Fish!
Another way to help your little learners recognize and read sight words is through a fish fanning game (just like the fanning the kipper game)
Cut out fish forms using bond paper and write sight words on them. It should be of different colors so pupils get more excited.
Make a starting point on the floor by lining up the fish shapes. As soon as you say the word “Go” everyone in the room gets down on their knees and starts fanning the paper fish.
Then, each pupil will read the sight words written once they’re over the finish line. The first one to do it is the winner.
- Bond paper
8. Group Me!
Here’s a fun way to teach children about the word family. You are to write sight words on the strips of colored cardstock paper.
You will need a cover of disposable cups and a marker. Or, you can also print these words.
Write a sight word on each cover and have the students match the words to ones written on the colored paper. The matching of rhyming words is a fun way of learning sight words.
Your pupils should read the words aloud.
- Cover of disposable cup
- Colored Construction Paper
- Marker or printer
9. Paper Airplane in Sight!
Have you tried playing paper airplanes with your children? Have you imagined how happy your kids will be if their paper planes land the farthest?
Paper airplane is a childhood favorite. You only need a piece of paper or colored paper and a pair of scissors to play this simple and competitive paper aircraft game for kids of all ages.
Since your goal is to teach sight words to children creatively, you can just write the sight words on the surface or print them and paste them on the wings.
Bring a lot of fun in the classroom at home by using paper airplanes in teaching kids these small words. Let the kids choose their paper aircraft and let them read the sight words on it before they launch it through the air. It’s exciting and fun.
That ordinary paper or sugar paper has something to do with teaching sight words creatively.
- Construction paper/ bond paper
10. The Caterpillar Show!
Now, let’s capture our kids’ attention with this bug-themed learning activity. I’m sure your young children will love it!
This is a caterpillar word family game that will help children categorize words based on their initial and final letters. As a fantastic method to teach children to read and memorize sight words, I’ve been using this with my own kindergartener. He loves forming caterpillars on the wall. I let him put the circles in their places.
To make this insect-themed game exciting, I prepared bigger circles in different colors and have my son watch me as I write the sight words.
When preparing the materials, I just let him watch and I didn’t tell him yet what to form on the wall. He just saw the heads of the caterpillars on the wall and that aroused his curiosity.
Having mastered the letter sounds, you can now begin introducing the concept of rhyming words. I am confident that if your children mastered those frequent rhymes, it will be easier for them to read a broad range and high-frequency words going forward.
- Construction paper
<<< In the presence of struggling readers, get insights and meaningful strategies from the video below.
Best Insights on Teaching Sight Words Creatively
When it comes to teaching sight words, there is no better option than to do so in an active and enjoyable manner. These engaging interactive learning games and activities encourage children to read, write, and move about.
You can use these fun activities to review any words your children have been working on. However, you have to keep in mind that to help children become lifetime readers, sight words shouldn’t just have to be memorized and recalled. Children should know the individual sounds of the letter components at first, especially the struggling ones.
Aside from using simple flashcard activities for familiarity, I know that you’ve been extending enough effort on clever reading activities, especially on the preparations for active learning.
As you can see, learning sight words can’t just be about memorization but also for developing critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills in children.
In honing both your kids’ linguistic and kinesthetic learning styles, they are more capable of remembering these foundation words and using them in conversations.
All in all, kids should have a lot of fun!
How do you like to teach sight words creatively? Drop off your meaningful and fun sight word activities in the comment box below!