Provide students with books or flashcards to practice memorizing high-frequency words. High-frequency words are the most commonly used words in printed text and over 50 percent of all text is composed of them. Because many are phonetically irregular, tend to be abstract, have limited visual correspondence, or even easily understood definitions, students must memorize them to read quickly and fluently.
Why Use High-Frequency Word Resources
Since these words are essential to fluent reading, and since many are not decodable, repeated exposure and memorization are crucial for students to read quickly and fluently. Students must have high-frequency words memorized to sight; otherwise, decoding will take up much time and effort, frustrating the reader and blocking easy comprehension.
How to Use High-Frequency Word Resources
Bingo cards, flashcards, and high-frequency word books provide necessary tools to help students memorize sight words. Use the High-Frequency Word Strategy Bank for additional strategies to help students learn high-frequency words. Follow these tips too for successful high-frequency word instruction:
- Make sure students read text containing high-frequency words every day. Almost all text contains these words, but the most rewarding reading will come from books students can read easily. Reading A-Z's High-Frequency Word Books, Decodables, or Leveled Books with patterned text will provide students with exposure to these words. Since students can keep and use their own copies of the books, they can circle or underline the high-frequency words as they encounter them in the text.
- Create a word wall of high-frequency words. Add new words to the wall as they are introduced. Each day, students can chant or cheer the high-frequency words posted on the wall.
- Introduce words in small groups of six to eight words or fewer per week. It may be beneficial to present words in phonetic groups (this, that, they, the, those, there; big, but, by, best, both, etc.).
- Allow students to write the words as often as possible. They may practice individual words or write high-frequency word sentences such as 'I like to _____,' or 'We go by the _____.'
- Keep a checklist of high-frequency words. When a student has memorized a word, meaning he or she can read it without decoding or write it without seeing the word, check the word off and move on to the next word.
Other High-Frequency Word Resources
The English High-Frequency Word Books have been translated into Spanish and French. Because of the nuances of each language, these translations cannot be literal word-for-word translations. In many instances, the number of high-frequency words in a translated version may be greater than the English version. When using the translated versions to introduce and teach Spanish and French high-frequency words, you may want to introduce and teach 2-3 words in different teaching sessions before giving students the books to read.
Other resources also emphasize high-frequency words. Every Guided Reading Lesson for level aa-J Leveled Books or Serial Books, and Level 1 Trade Book Lessons contain high-frequency word lists for instruction.
Looking for More High-Frequency Word Resources?VocabularyA-Z.com offers 13,000+ words to align with your classroom curriculum, including multiple sight word lists to help your students learn high-frequency words appropriate for their grade level. You gain access to resources such as:
- Dolch Sight Word List
- Fry: 1,000 Most Frequently Used Words List
- High-Frequency Words
- Marzano Words List
- Spache Words List
Build your first three vocabulary lessons for FREE.