A Complete Guide To Dolch Sight Words

Out of all of the skills that your child is rapidly developing, one of the most essential of them is reading. It is impossible to live a productive life if you cannot read. Most schools expect that kids can read simple stories and sentences by the time they have finished first grade. Then, by the time they are in third grade, the expectation extends to nearly all kinds of text.

Along with being able to sound out spelled words phonetically, another thing that needs to be mastered by your child is sight words. Parents can do a lot of different things to help their children achieve that, and it begins with getting a sight words list. You may have heard about the Dolch sight words list, but do not know what it is exactly. In this article, we will be discussing it and go over the important sight word list that your child will need for their education.

1How The Dolch Word List Came To Be

The Dolch Word List is an English sight words list that Edward William Dolch compiled in 1948. While Dolch was at the University of Illinois, he published a book titled Problems in Reading for improving how to teach reading. There was one of the thirty-two chapters that detail how to obtain a basic type of sight word vocabulary. Dolch decided to figure out which sight words had the most value. He understood that trying to memorize a long list of standard words had a lot of drawbacks, saying that a list of 500 words was too many to be used as drills in sight vocabulary.

2What The Dolch Sight Words List Includes

Quite a few of the Dolch 220 words need to be learned by sight or memorized and can't be sounded out. After a lot of careful analysis, Dolch came up with his list of the more common words, referred to as sight words. Dolch's list includes prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives; there are 220 words included. Dolch referred to the words as 'tool' or 'service' due to being used in writing no matter what the subject matter is.

3The Dolch 220

Dolch published his list originally in a book he wrote called "Problems in Reading." His list was compiled based on words used in children's reading books from the 1930s and 1940s. There are 220 "service words" in the list that have to be recognized quickly to achieve reading fluency as well.

The Dolch Word List is referred to as Sight Words and also The Dolch 220. Included are words most frequently used in the English language. These sight words are 50-70 percent of all general text. So a critical educational goal for kindergarten through 3rd grade is to teach The Dolch Word List.

4Teaching Sight Words Fluency

Since reading fluency in reading Dolch's 95 nouns and the Dolch 220 is critical for literacy, various techniques are used for teaching them, and this includes the following: reading Dolch's literature books, playing games, using flashcards, and using writing activities as well. It is very important to use plenty of repetition and practice to make recognizing sight words an automatic process. Once the core of sight words have been memorized, a child can read with more comprehension and more fluently.

5Why Dolch Sight Words Excludes Nouns

Dolch excluded nouns from the sight word list intentionally. A majority of nouns are not universal but instead are associated with a specific subject matter or activity. He said that if the subject matter is new, then new nouns have to be used. He recognized some nouns do occur often (e.g., "man," "thing"). He also said that in the case of a majority of nouns, rules applied are local to a specific interest or activity. This resulted in him providing a separate nouns list that was relevant to the interests and activities of children.

Nicole Ross

Nicole S. Ross is passionate about using stories in early childhood education. She wrote our Alphabet Book Series to help children fall in love with reading while learning the alphabet.