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Sight Word Activities for First Grade

Sight word mastery is one of the BIGGEST things first graders are asked to do. However, word work feels a little stale after a while. We ask our students to drill the same words, the same way, all year long.

You may be looking for some fresh ways to practice sight words with your students! Today, I have three sight word activity ideas for you to use in your classroom!

Sight Word Practice: Why we need it

It’s no secret that after the primary grades, reading complexity gets tougher! One of the biggest gifts we can give to our K-2 students is to prepare them with all of the tools they need to read complex texts. This includes helping them become fluent with words they can not decode. Boosting mastery in this area will help students access complex texts in upper grades. This is a skill we don’t want them to have to play catch up on later! {Read more about fluency HERE!}

Mystery Word Search is one of my favorite activities to do with my students! To play, students walk around the classroom and “decode” the sounds in each word to determine the sight word. Then, they check their answer with the mystery decoder!

This activity is themed with my ‘secret agent learning’ series. You can read more about Secret Agent Language Arts in THIS POST.

Fry Sight Word Sentences

One of the most proven ways to develop sight word fluency is through context. This sentence building activity allows students to create sentences using common sight words. Once they have their sentence built, they write it, edit for basic mechanics, and illustrate! This is the perfect way to build automaticity, while also helping students grow in other literacy skills!

Snapping Sight Words

A great way to work in some fresh word practice is with hands-on activities! Set up a center where students can build words using snap cubes! I have word mats already created, so it’s easy for you to print, laminate, and store for years to come! On the mats, along with the word building, there is space for students to trace and write the word. The extra writing will help deepen the student’s memorization of that spelling, creating more fluency.

Sight Word Reading

Another great way to give students practice with words, without doing the same drill activities, is to read them! These readers are a low-prep and low-maintenance way to engage your students in sight word reading. Plus, everything is superhero themed, so you know the kids love it!

Use these ideas in your classroom to boost sight word fluency today! You can read about more activity ideas in this post!

And, check out even more word work activities here.

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