High Frequency Words

How Can I Help My Child Learn High Frequency Words (Trick Words)?

     Children learn high frequency words by frequently seeing the words in print. High frequency words or sight words are words that are frequently seen in print but can't be sounded out (tapped out) and are therefore tricky to learn to read and spell. Some sight words are easy to learn, while others are harder to learn and will require additional practice. Providing opportunities for your child to see and read high frequency words can be as simple as pointing out a word on a cereal box or as enjoyable as playing a game of Sight Word Bingo together. Here are some activities that will help your child to practice reading and spelling high frequency words:


   Use a deck of sight word flashcards and a blank Bingo game card for each player. Write the words in the spaces on the Bingo game. Make sure each Bingo card has all of the sight words written in different spaces. Each time a word is read, each player covers the word. A player has Bingo when a line of words is covered and the player can read each of the words.

 Jump On It! 

   Write the sight words on two sets of flashcards. Scatter one set of words face up on the floor, leaving about a foot between each card. Place the other set of cards face down in a pile. Have your child turn over each card, read the word, and then jump on the corresponding sight word card on the floor.

 Which One Is Missing? 

   Lay three to five flashcards face up on a flat surface. Say "Eyes Open." Have your child read the words. Say "Eyes Closed" and have your child close his eyes while you take one word away. Then say "Eyes Open" and have your child say which word is missing. Take turns so that your child also gets to give you the commands and hide the words. Can you figure out which one is missing?

 Rainbow Letters 

   Use art materials such as paint, glitter glue, gel pen on black paper, or glow-in-the-dark ink to create fun effects as your child writes sight words. Have your child write sight words on paper with creativity and flair. Have your child write the sight words with crayon on white paper and then watercolor over the words to create a magical effect. Your child can also use colored markers to write the sight words in rainbow letters.

 Silly Sentences 

    Put flashcards in a can. Take turns picking out flashcards and making up silly sentences using the words. Start by picking one word, then two, then three, and increase the number of words with each turn. The sillier the sentence is, the better! Your child can write the silly sentences. 

Gone Fishing 

   Make a fishing rod by securing a small magnet to a piece of string attached to a pencil. Put a paper clip on each flashcard and use the rod to "catch the fish." Your child should then read each word. 

Wand Writing 

   Use a wand to write sight words in the air. Air writing is a great way to involve kinesthetic body movements as your child practices the sight words. 

Sticks In a Can 

   Write sight words on popsicle sticks. Label one stick Winner. You can also label other sticks such as Pick Again or Extra Turn. Put the sticks in a can. Pull the sticks out of the can and read the words. Keep pulling out sticks and reading the words until someone picks the winning stick. You could also play until all of the sticks are drawn and the player with the most sticks wins.


   Write sight words on flashcards and also write Bang and Jackpot on a few cards. Put all the cards in a pile and take turns drawing cards and reading the words. Whoever draws a Bang card must give each player a card. Whoever draws a Jackpot card receives a card from each player. When the pile is gone, the player with the most cards wins.


   Write sight words on two sets of flashcards. Lay the cards face down and take turns turning over two cards at a time and reading the words. When a match is made, the player keeps the cards. If the words do not match, the cards are returned to their original spots. Start with a few word pairs and increase the word pairs as your child's visual memory increases.