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 set below and then request an invite to our 4 week course, The Reading Roadmap, so you can get the proven, ready-to-deploy system for helping EVERY student thrive!

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 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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  1. Paige

    I LOVE these lists! It looks like List Two on the Fry Word List has a few of the words repeated on the checklist/assessment. Could you possibly fix this? 🙂 My school system uses the Fry Lists and I would love to be able to use these for assessments.

    • Kimberleigh

      Hello Paige,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and for bringing this to our attention- I am happy to report it is all fixed- hooray!
      I emailed you as well.

  2. Tina Windle

    Thank you for sharing! I love using the wonderful things you have created.

    • Kimberleigh

      Thank you Tina! We love to hear from our online family- we are because of you!
      Have a wonderful week!

  3. Kristi

    Hi! I am so excited about these. I am having trouble opening them though. Do you know anyone else who has tried but their safari browser opens a page that just says “plug in not allowed?”

    • Kimberleigh

      Hi Kristi,

      I am happy to help! Some computers have a default PDF reader that does strange things to formatting and downloading so let’s try troubleshooting-

      1. Make sure that you have the most current version of Adobe Reader. It’s available here:
      2) Open your file finder and right click (or double click) on the file in your download folder.

      3) Choose OPEN WITH–> ADOBE READER.

      4) You may be prompted to choose Adobe Reader as your PDF reader in the future. To avoid problems in the future, click YES.

      Fingers crossed that does the trick!


  4. Karen Winford

    Thank you so much for these lists! I have a question – since there are more than 200 Dolch, and 300 Fry words, how did you decide which ones to include? My district does not dictate which list I use, so I’d love to use your set – just wondering if I should also go back and figure out which ones aren’t included.
    Thanks for all your hard work.


    • Kimberleigh

      Hello Karen!
      Great question…these lists are the first 100 words from each list, so you should be able to start at 101 and go from there.
      Hope this helps!

  5. Tee Hurd

    Please help me! The download will not work for me. I can’t download the Sight Word lists, Lesson Planner, or the Free Reading Cheat. I have the latest Adobe.

  6. pamela Spurlock

    working with my foster grandchild, who is behind in his 2nd year of 1st grade
    Determined to get him ready for the fall to start 2nd grade

    • Kimberleigh

      That’s wonderful Pamela! Your grandson is blessed to have you.
      Happy learning!



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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!