Sunday, September 15, 2013

20 Creative Ways to Practice Sight Words (and math facts, vocabulary, etc.)

Just about any fun childhood game can be applied to sight word learning! Just add a sight word list, tweak a rule or two, and you're set! This can also be done with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts-- or even with vocabulary words!

Download my FREEBIE Sight Word Lists for Pre-primer, Primer, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade to get started!


Here are a few of my students' favorite games that I've tweaked for sight word learning. 

Movement Games

1. Hopscotch - Using sidewalk chalk outdoors or painter's tape on the floor indoors, create a hopscotch board with sight words written in each square. As students hop, they read the sight words.

2. Whack-a-word - Give students fly swatters or foam mallets, and have them swat/whack sight words. Each word swatted or whacked is a word read.

3. Bean bag toss/Corn Hole- Cut holes in a piece of poster board, and write a sight word beneath each hole. Have students toss bean bags through the holes. Each bean bag through the hole is a word read.

4. Fish bowl game - Re-create the common carnival game where a ping pong ball tossed into a cup is a fish earned. Write a sight word on each plastic cup, and fill them with water and plastic fish (or simply draw a fish on the front of the cup). Each time a student tosses a ping pong ball into the cup, they read the word on the cup and keep the fish (or the cup if hand-drawn).

5. Pick up ducks - Write sight words on the underside of weighted rubber or plastic ducks. Put them in a small pool or container of water. Have students pick up ducks and read their sight words. (Note: If the ducks are not weighted, they will tip over... pretty annoying!)

6. Fishing - Write sight words on fish cutouts and laminate. Slide a paperclip over each fish's mouth. Tie a string with a magnet at the bottom to a pole or pencil. Have students "go fishing" for sight words.

7. Jump Rope - Have two people hold the jump rope, and students spell sight words as they jump. Don't have three people? This can be a partner game with one side of the jump rope tied to a tree.

8. Indoor "baseball" - Move desks aside, and set up four bases on the floor of the classroom. "Pitch" sight words to the batter by holding up a card with the word written. Students can "bat" the word by identifying it correctly. Students may walk to their bases. Continue with innings just like a regular baseball game, being careful that each student gets a chance to bat.

9. Four Corners - One student is "It" and sits in the center of the room, counting to ten with eyes closed. Students quietly tiptoe to a corner of the room (each marked with a sight word). The student who is "It" calls out the name of a corner (sight word), and all students in that corner must read the word.

10. Heads up, Seven Words Up - Seven students are "It." Students put their heads down on their desks with their hands extended (palms facing ceiling). Students who are "It" each have one sight word card. They must put the sight word card into someone's extended palm. Students who get the word card read the word and guess which of the seven students gave it to them.

Board Games 


1. Hungry, Hungry Hippos - Each marble a student's hippo eats is a sight word read.

2. Candy Land - Each space a student moves is a sight word read.

3. Jenga - Each Jenga piece a student successfully removes is a sight word read.

4. Legos- Write sight words on Lego pieces with dry erase markers, and have students build sight word creations. Each Lego piece read is a piece earned.

5. Cootie- I changed the name of my Cootie game to "Word Bugs" and wrote sight word letters on the bugs' legs. Students build "word bugs" as they roll the die.

6. Chutes and Ladders - Write sight words above the chutes and ladders on the board game. Have students read them with each move.

7. Checkers - Write sight words on checker pieces. As students "jump" each other's pieces, they have to read the sight word before they can take it. Do the same thing when they "king" themselves!

8. Twister - Write sight words on a Twister mat. Call out colors and words -- for example, "Right foot red- the!" Make the game safer by only allowing the use of feet, not hands. Change each spot that says, "hand" on the spinner to "foot."

9. Hi-Ho Cherry-O - Each cherry picked is a sight word read.

10. Connect Four - Write sight words on Connect Four pieces. As students drop pieces into the board, they read the sight words.

What are some of your favorite sight word games? Comment below to share your ideas!


Have a blast,

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