Inside: A fun, hands-on activity for revising sight words with beginning readers.
Learning sight words is important for children to assist them with their reading fluency and comprehension. The words that most children will learn as “sight words” are made up from the most frequently used words lists. They are common, high use words, many of which you can not “sound-out,” hence the need to be able to recognise them by sight.
As we are big fans of painting in our house, it was a natural step to entice my daughter to want to practice some sight words by painting them.
- Large sheet of paper (stuck to door, wall, window etc)
- Sight words
- Cardboard and marker (optional)
To set the activity up, I stuck a large sheet of paper to our glass door. Around the outside of the paper, I stuck little pieces of cardboard that I’d quickly written the sight words on. Beside the paper was a little chair set up with paints, brushes, water and her sight words.
There was no explanation necessary as she dove right into painting her sight words. I was thrilled as she chose each word, read it, found the matching word around the outside and then chose a spot to paint the word.
Working on such a large scale is also part of the appeal of this activity. Whilst not necessary, it is always fun to paint big and also encourages movement and gross motor skills.
Actually writing the words and forming the letters allows children to learn other important lesson such as sizing and spacing. Running out of paper for her final letter meant that from then on she became more aware of how many letters were in each word and how much space each word was potentially going to take up.
Thinking about where she was going to paint her word, which colour she was going to use and which thickness of brush she’d choose, were all part of the creative elements that appealed to her and took this from a simple “write your sight words” activity, to something enjoyable and enticing.
At the end we had a lovely poster to display. This type of poster means a lot more than a bought poster that’s been stuck on the wall, because aside from the pride children feel as they create something visually appealing, all the words on here have a meaning and connection to the child.
Encourage your child to read over their poster frequently. You could ask questions such as, “Which colour did you paint the word was?”, to prompt them to want to read and recall the words.
Debs is a Primary School Teacher on family leave with her 2 young children. She is passionate about Early Childhood Education and believes firmly in the importance of learning through play. She is the author and creator of LearnwithPlayatHome.com which is a resource full of activities and ideas with handy tips on how to further promote learning with play. Above all, she believes that learning should be fun.