Sight Words List

Sight words lists typically include the most common words written in text so it makes sense that teachers encourage children to memorize them. Imagine if new readers had to slowly sound out “a-n-d” every single time they came across it. How frustrating for them!

Depending on students’ district, school or even classroom, their sight words list can vary greatly. Words on one first graders’ list aren’t always on another’s.

Let’s take a closer look at two of the most popular sight words lists: Dolch and Fry.
 

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.

-> GRAB A FREE PRINTABLE LIST OF DOLCH WORDS HERE .

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.

-> GRAB A FREE PRINTABLE LIST OF FRY WORDS HERE .

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 viola! The Ultimate Sight Words 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.

And to make it easy for you to keep track of the words kids are working on, I pulled together a batch of printable checklists.

Print them on white or add a pop of fun by printing on color.

The lists are a great way to keep track of students’ progress by keeping a copy at school and sending one home.
 

Grab Your Set

Ready to snag your sight words lists?! Click the blue download button below and then hop over to join The Plato Pack so you can get DOZENS of sight word centers in one spot!


 
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43 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
    • Ashley

      Hi Catherine,
      No it does not include every word. This combination list includes 140 of the most common words divided into seven stages.
      Let me know if I can be of any more help!
      Warmly,
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

      Reply
  6. Mary

    On the combined lists, with is in stage 1 and stage 2. My kiddos noticed right away and we were wondering what word is missing. Thank you for an awesome product!

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      I believe it should also have will.
      Warmly,
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

      Reply
  7. Sarah

    I am unable to download the combined list. Are you able to send it to my email?

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry you’re having trouble downloading. We never want that. Please check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help. You’ll also want to make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader Other and that you’re allowing pop ups from our site. I hope that helps!
      Warmly,
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

      Reply
  8. Ashley

    It won’t let me insert my email to download the word list printable… any ideas?

    Reply
    • Ashley

      Hi Ashley,
      Thank you so much for reaching out, I am sorry you are having trouble downloading, we never want that.
      Please make sure to check your settings on your browser and firewall to ensure that popups are allowed from our site.
      You may want to also try clearing your cookies.
      If you’re still having trouble, please email me at hello@playdoughtoplato.com
      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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