What are Sight Words?

Sight Words For Spelling Word Activities for Kids

Here, we will be discussing “What are Sight Words” in detail along with the definition of sight words, examples, properties and their importance. 

Let’s begin.

Sight Words Definition

If you are wondering what sight words mean, we are here to help. 

Ever noticed that we come across some words more often than other words?

What are these words called? 

These words are known as Sight Words.

Sight words are basically the words that appear more frequently than other words in our reading and writing materials. These words occur so often that the learners are expected to recognize them easily and quickly. 

Sight words are not easy to be represented by images or graphics. They are not often linked to any particular subject. That is why we find them repeatedly in various parts of texts, irrespective of the topic the texts are based on. 

Sight words recognition is crucial to becoming a fluent and persuasive reader. The more you know about the commonly used words, the better you become at reading. 

The first sight words are the ones that even kids are expected to be familiar with. They should be able to quickly recognize these words so that they can put in more efforts to understand the meanings of other words that are actually used less often and thus, are tougher.

Examples of Sight Words

Some of the most basic and common sight words are: the, to, and, do, did, a, an, in, is… 

The set of sight words that occur even more frequently are called the first sight words or the beginning sight words. Examples of first sight words can include a, an, the, is, in, on, it, me, my, not, to, up, we, you, etc. 

When children are exposed to sight words, they are often initially introduced to the first sight words as these are simple and most used.

Here is a table of a few of the sight words:

a

I

is

am

in

on

the 

am

me

my

we

you

and

are

it

not

to

up

an

our

his

him

her

she

at

he

do

did

they

but

are

them

with

if

of

say

what

why

where

how

when

who

has

have

had

look

so

then

from

yes

no

please

come

go

up

down

out

does

can

could

thank

some

any

by

there

than

always

never

around

been

be

best

sit

their

help

big

may

here

said

give

know

eat

us

very

about

date

nice

much

also

many

Properties of Sight Words

There are certain characteristics of sight words. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Sight words are high-frequency words and thus appear highly often.
  • Most of the sight words are words that provide a sense to a sentence and the text as a whole.
  • They are majorly helping verbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs and adjectives.
  • Sight words are not very easy to be communicated through images. (How can one explain ‘the’ or ‘it’ or ‘am’ through pictures!)
  • Sight words are often phonetically quite random. You won’t find sight words very consistent in terms of the way they are pronounced. Some of them go in line with the usual rules of phonetics while others don’t.

For example, the pronunciation of sight words ‘in’ and ‘it’ are similar – both having a short ‘i’ sound in their pronunciation.

But, the pronunciation of the sight words ‘so’ and ‘to’ are way different – while ‘so’ has an ‘o’ sound in its pronunciation, ‘to’ has ‘oo’ sound. 

That is the reason why sight words are also referred to as trick words. 

Did you know that sight words are also known as popcorn words?

This is because sight words pop-up so very often in texts and speech. 

Why are Sight Words Important?

  1. Builds Vocabulary
  2. As a parent, you must want your child to develop a rich vocabulary. 

    The journey of knowing lots of words starts with getting acquainted with a few words. Sight words are the first set of words that children would come across very often and thus, should become a part of their vocabulary soon. 

  3. Improves reading 
  4. The basic idea of categorizing some words as sight words is that these become incorporated in an individual’s reading and writing in such a way that he/she doesn’t have to stop and think about its meaning or pronunciation anymore. 

    Sight words become a part and parcel of communication for young children as well, thus, making them more fluent readers. 

  5. Familiarises with pronunciation
  6. Above everything, sight words are basically words! 

    When kids come across them so frequently, eventually they get familiarized with how these words are to be pronounced. 

  7. Refines writing skills
  8. Most of the things that improve reading skills would automatically have a positive effect on writing proficiency. Essay writing, sentence formation, etc. would obviously need usage of sight words. If kids are thorough with sight words, they will be able to write better. 

  9. Introduces them to English phonetics
  10. As discussed, sight words have irregular phonetics. When kids are made aware of several sight words, their spellings and pronunciation, they get to know that there can be irregularities in terms of spelling and pronunciation of words. Thus, they get an insight into English phonetics. 

  11. Helps in communication
  12. In the formative years of children, they need to grasp a lot of information on different things. This needs to be done through communication. Sight words boost kids’ comprehension of information that is imparted to them. 

We hope that this article will help you understand the meaning of sight words, examples, recognition of sight words in a sentence, properties and their importance in linguistic comprehension.