Sight words are words a child learns to recognize on sight. Edward William Dolch first published this list of sight words back in 1936. In total, 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 three-quarters of all words used in children’s books. Since 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. Being able 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 sight words for second graders can help young kids keep going and gain momentum as they learn to read.

Dolch 2nd grade sight words list

always  or
around  pull
because  read
been  right
before  sing
best  sit
both  sleep
buy  tell
call  their
cold  these
does  those
don’t  upon
fast  us
first  use
five  very
found  wash
gave  which
goes  why
green  wish
its  work
made  would
many  write
off  your


Check out the Dolch sight words for preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade — and the list of preK-3rd grade nouns.

More ways to support your 2nd grader as they learn to read

• Play: Decoding activities for your beginning reader
• Read: Books to boost your 2nd grader’s vocabulary
• Watch: Follow my finger
• Do: 2nd grade vocabulary worksheets

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