Sight Word Lists

The first 100 sight words make up about 50% of the text we read. Crazy, isn’t it? That’s why these handy sight word lists are so helpful – they make it easy for students to keep track of the words they know AND the words they still need to practice.

Dolch Sight Words

The Dolch list is a set of 220 words Dr. Edward William Dolch pulled together in 1948 after tallying the most frequently occurring words in children’s books published in the 1930s and 40s.

Many of those words (“said” for instance) cannot be sounded out easily so memorizing them can significantly increase children’s fluency and accuracy.

But, interestingly, Dolch intentionally left out nouns like “bed” and “mother” because he said they were too specific to the characters included in the books.

Fry Sight Words

In 1980, several decades later, Fry published a list of 300 must-know words.

Unlike the Dolch sight words list, this new option included ALL parts of speech – including nouns that Dolch left out of the mix.

Citing the The American Heritage Word Frequency Book (Carol, Davies, & Richmond, 1971), Fry explained that about half of the words written in English text were composed of the first 100 words on his list – either in their original form or with an ending like -ed, -er or -s.

Comparing the Lists

If you compare the top 100 sight words from both lists side-by-side, there are a total of 130 words.  Only 70 are the same.

Most of the differences in the two popular options can be explained by the different sources the men used to create their suggestions.

Dolch used children’s books from the 1930s and 40s while Fry used a research team’s tally of just over 1,000 texts written for third to ninth graders.

All of this got me thinking…

What if we combined BOTH Dolch and Fry’s suggestions into one ultimate list?! A power packed combo that would help kids master the most popular words in one spot.

And voila! The Ultimate Sight Word List was born.

It includes 140 words divided into seven stages.

Stage One works on the top 20 words from both the Dolch and Fry lists.

Stage Two works on the next 20 words and so on.

Free Sight Word Lists

To make it easy for you to keep track of the words students are working on (Dolch, Fry OR combo), I pulled together a batch of printable checklists.

You can copy them on white or add a pop of fun by printing on color.

You can even make two sets so kids can keep one copy at school and one at home!

Snag Your Sight Word Lists

Ready to snag your sight words lists?! Click the blue download button below and then hop over and join The Reading Roadmap so you can learn the most effective system for assessing, lesson planning and getting kids HUGE reading results.

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25 Comments

  1. Susan Schloss

    Thank you so much for these lists.

    Reply
    • Kimberleigh

      Welcome, Susan. I hope that they are incredibly helpful.

      Warmly,

      Kimberleigh

      Reply
  2. odessa

    Reading Cheat Sheets are not downloading. Help

    Reply
    • Kimberleigh

      Hi Odessa,

      Thanks for reaching out, please check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help.

      Warmly,

      Kimberleigh

      Reply
  3. Deana Kelly

    I am using the combined list. Is there a copy of set 1-7 that is full page? I have the copies that are side by side but I would like to send a full page copy home for parents.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Hi Deana,
      Thanks for reaching out.

      I apologize, but at this time, we don’t have a copy that has all of them on one page.

      Let me know if there’s something else I can do to help.

      Ashley

      Reply
  4. christine

    Do you have a template that is blank so that teachers can put in their own words?

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Hi Christine,
      Sorry, we don’t have a blank template for a list at this time.
      Warmly,
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

      Reply
  5. Catherine McGowan

    This is awesome and exactly what I have been looking for, a combination of both lists! Do you know if this includes EVERY word on Fry’s first 200 and the Dolch lists?

    Reply
  6. stacy

    im having trouble downloading the sight words,

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Hi Stacy,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry you’re having trouble downloading. We never want that.
      Please check to be sure you’ve enabled pop-ups from our site. Even if you’ve been able to download before, the site was recently updated and you may need to do so again. We also recommend using the Chrome browser. For instructions on how to enable pop ups in Chrome, you can check out THIS ARTICLE.
      You can also check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help. If you still can’t get it to work, you can email me at hello@playdoughtoplato.com and I will get it to you.
      Warmly,
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

      Reply

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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!

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