What are sight words? They are words a child learns to recognize on sight. Back in 1936, Edward William Dolch published this list of sight words for children learning to read in preschool through third grade. There are 220 Dolch sight words in total across those early grade levels. 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. 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 sight words for third graders can help your child keep going and gain momentum as they learn to read.

3rd grade sight words

about  laugh
better  light
bring  long
carry  much
clean  myself
cut  never
done  only
draw  own
drink  pick
eight  seven
fall  shall
far  show
full  six
got  small
grow  start
hold  ten
hot  today
hurt  together
if  try
keep  warm


Check out the Dolch sight words for preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade — and the list of preK-3rd grade nouns.

More ways to support your 3rd grader as they learn to read

• Play: Decoding activities for your young reader
• Read: Humor books for 3rd graders
• Watch: Decoding words
• Do: Our 5 favorite 3rd grade worksheets

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