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.

Snag your free set below and then hop over and grab our pre-sorted sight word lists so you can help students learn these words quickly and easily!

Sight Word Lists

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.

Sight Word Lists

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.

Sight Word Lists

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

Sight Word Lists

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 grab our pre-sorted sight word lists so you can help students learn these words quickly and easily!

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    1. I appreciate the good work you are doing.

      1. Thank you for your time and work, I from Mexico and I’m teaching to my kid English language and this was very helpful.

  1. Thank you for this list. As a Grandmother helping with homeschooling during this difficult time, this is very helpful for me to help him stay on course.

    1. SO happy to hear that these were helpful for you! What lucky grandkids you have, someone dedicated to helping them! ♥️
      Kaylee // Playdough to Plato

  2. This list will be nso helpful for me and my students. Thank you so much!

    1. Hooray! I am so happy to hear that!
      Kaylee // Playdough to Plato Team

  3. Thank you , this really an amazing resources that will benefit my students.

  4. I love your Lists for Fry words – 1 through 4. I’d like to make more as I tutor some 3rd and 4th graders so I’d like to go on to the 2nd hundred words. Could you sell the template to just that page? They are so useful!

    1. Hi Carol! I am so happy to hear that they are helpful! We do not have the template for sale, but I am happy to add that to our wishlist for teachers! Are you thinking words 100-200 on the new lists?
      Chat soon,
      Kaylee /Playdough to Plato Team

  5. Do you have an editable version I could buy? I have to follow my school’s list but love this!

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