Kindergarten Sight Words – Explicit Instructions & Multisensory Approach2022-04-07T19:51:55-04:00
kindergarten sight words

Posted by: Alesia Netuk

Updated: April 7th, 2022

Kindergarten Sight Words – Explicit Instructions & Multisensory Approach

Kindergarten Sight Words – Explicit Instructions & Multisensory Approach

Sight words, also known as high-frequency words, are words that appear frequently in books and other texts. Examples include “and,” “is,” and “it.” Because sight words appear so often, we want children to recognize them automatically, and focus their reading strategies on solving more complex words. As well, some sight words cannot be sounded out, so children need to memorize them so they can instantly recognize them. “The” is a prime example of a sight word that children need to recall instantly.

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Just like walking and talking, reading is a developmental stage that children begin at different ages. During kindergarten, children often show an interest in books and exhibit early reading behaviors such as turning pages and making up stories to go with the pictures. Many children will be ready to begin learning sight words, which will allow them to read simple, early texts with growing independence.

When introducing sight words to children, you may wish to start with words that hold personal significance for them, like their name, “mom,” or “dad.” Short words, like “a” and “I,” are also good choices. It is important not to overwhelm children with many sight words at once and instead, to gauge carefully when it is appropriate to introduce more words. If children are struggling to remember words or to recognize them in different contexts, more practice is needed before moving on.

Example of multisensory explicit instructions when teaching kindergarten high-frequency words

Today, you’re going to learn the word to. (show the flashcard or write the word on a board) Say the word to. (to) Finger-tap the word and say it aloud. (to) Let’s say the sound of the word to. /t/ /oo/ Say the sound again; this time, slide your finger across the word. How many sounds are in the word to? (2) Let’s read the sight word two more times. This time, point your finger on a dot as you read the word to. (to to)

WRITE IT

Now, let’s write the word to in the air with your index finger (or using a juggling scarf). Start at the top. Pull down straight. Start at the center. Slide right. Start below the center. Circle back (left) all the way around. You’ve made the word to! (model the word together) Trace the letter t. Begin tracing the letter t with a starting dot at the blue headline. Pull down straight to the red baseline. Lift. Start at the blue midline. Slide right. Trace the letter o. Start below the blue midline. Circle back (left) all the way around. (provide oral instructions on how to form letters) Read the word to. (to) 

Now, let’s write the word to! What is the first sound? /t/ What letter represents the sound /t/? (t) Is this letter missing? (no) What is the second sound? /oo/ We usually spell this sound with two oo, but in this word we only use one o? (o) Write the letter o. Read the word to. (to)

USE IT IN CONTEXT

Let’s look at these sentences. Can you find the word to in this sentence? I go to bed. (yes) Can you point to the word to? (yes, point to the word to in a sentence) Can you circle the word to in a sentence? (yes, circle the word to in a sentence)

Can you find the word to in this sentence? I went to school. (yes) Can you point to the word to? (yes, point to the word to in a sentence) Can you circle the word to in a sentence? (yes, circle the word to in a sentence)

Can you write one sentence using the word to? (yes, write the sentence)