What are Dolch sight words? Back in 1936, Edward William Dolch published these words in a journal (and later published them in his 1948 book Problems in Reading). The entire list consists of 220 words, split into smaller lists by grade from preschool to third grade and this list of 95 nouns. These 220 words are estimated to appear in 75 percent of all children’s books. Because they appear so often, they are also called high-frequency words. Some of these words can be sounded out, others cannot. The idea is that because they appear so often, it helps young children who are learning to read to recognize these words on sight, or memorize them, hence the name sight words.

When children are learning to read, the four key reading skills are decoding, fluency, comprehension, and knowledge. The ability to decode (or sound out) words is an important part of becoming a fluent reader. But if kids can memorize some of these words that they see over and over again, it can make it less daunting or frustrating to stop and sound out new words. Being able to recognize high-frequency or sight words can help kids better understand what is being read because they stop less, too. In other words, memorizing sight words can help young kids carry on as they learn to read.

Dolch sight word nouns

apple farmer  party
baby father  picture
back feet  pig
ball fire  rabbit
bear fish  rain
bed floor  ring
bell flower  robin
bird game  Santa Claus
birthday garden  school
boat girl  seed
box good-bye  sheep
boy grass  shoe
bread ground  sister
brother hand  snow
cake head  song
car hill  squirrel
cat home  stick
chair horse  street
chicken house  sun
children kitty  table
Christmas leg  thing
coat letter  time
corn man  top
cow men  toy
day milk  tree
dog money  watch
doll morning  water
door mother  way
duck name  wind
egg nest  window
eye night  wood
farm paper  


Check out the Dolch sight words for preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.