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A Reading lesson focusing on sight words


Language Arts  


K, 1, 2, 3  

Reading Lesson, Sight Words

Shelley Yamnitz

October 2, 1996

Strategy: Sight Words


Student will learn various high frequency sight words by playing Steal the Words card game. They will then identify these words in the context of choral reading a book.


Sight words are very important in building the confidence of beginning readers. By giving students repeated exposure to individual sight words, it will be easier for them to pick the words out and read them in context. This will add to the natural, flowing pace of reading that is every child’s goal. Placing the learning of sight words in a game format makes this overwhelming task less of a chore and adds fun. Also, it’s important to follow the game of learning the words with reading a book, to emphasize to the students the value of knowing the words.


64 notecards, each card printed with a word on it twice, one right-side-up, one

upside down

Several books for the students to pick from


Deal 4 cards to each student and have them lay them out in front of them facing up. Lay 4 cards out in the center of the students. Explain the rules to the students as follows:

-whoever picks the word with the most letters goes first

-when it’s your turn, if you have a word that matches one in the middle of the

circle, you can take the card and add it to a private pile of your own.

You can only take a card when you read the word on it. Always keep four cards per student and four cards in the middle.

-another way to add cards to your individual private pile is when it’s your turn,

if you have a card that matches the top card on someone else’s private pile,

you can say the word and take that person’s entire private pile.

-the game continues until all the cards are matched

-the student with the most cards wins

After they play the game, read through all of the sight word notecards with the students again. Then allow them to choose a book that they want to read. Have the students choral read the book with the teacher. Whenever a student successfully reads one of the sight words just learned, point this out to them. Be sure and provide any needed help with the more difficult words they may not know yet.


This lesson plan turned out to be a real disaster with our kids. With such a limited amount of time, the game proved to be too complex for them to learn quickly. In addition, they focused much more on the competitive aspect of the game instead of actually learning the sight words. It was very difficult to make them wait for their turn, and they kept trying to make matches without actually reading the word. We didn’t have enough time to play the whole game, so they weren’t exposed to all the sight words we had intended.

We stopped the game early so that the students would have time to read the books and apply what they had learned, which was very important. Ethan and Jeff read a Deputy Dan book with Shelley, and Darien and Meghan read Clifford with Amy. Ethan and Jeff struggled reading their book. Jeff made the statement that he thought Shelley would read the book to him. Even after learning the sight words in the game, they both had a lot of trouble reading even the easiest of words, such as ‘it’. Therefore, for Ethan and Jeff, this lesson really did not benefit them at all.

Darien and Meghan were much better readers, so they found most of the sight words to be too easy when playing the game. They also read most of the book with few problems. The only sight words they had any problems with were those such as ‘enough’. Therefore, this lesson was probably way too easy for them, and they didn’t benefit much, either.

As a result of the failure of this lesson plan, we decided to divide the students into two groups (Ethan/Jeff and Darien/Meghan) so that we could focus on their differing ability levels better, at least for a couple of sessions.

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