What are sight words? They’re words a child learns to recognize on sight. This list, by Edward William Dolch, was first published back in 1936 (and later published in his book, Problems in Reading). There are 220 Dolch sight words, spread across sight word lists from preschool to third grade. The theory is that these words are used so often in print that they make up an estimated 75 percent of all words used in children’s books. Because they appear so often, they’re also called high-frequency words.
As kids learn to read, the four main reading skills are decoding, fluency, comprehension, and knowledge. A child’s ability to decode (or sound out) words is crucial to reading. But to become a fluent reader, it helps if kids don’t have to sound out every single word they come across. So being able to “read” or recognize high-frequency or sight words without hesitation can help children read more fluently and, by extension, help them better understand what they read because they’re not stopping to sound out every word. In other words, memorizing these kindergarten sight words can help young kids keep going and gain momentum as they learn to read.
Dolch kindergarten sight words