Updated: Aug 22, 2021
By far the best way to teach is by making a game out of everything. It turns a dull class into a fun class and disinterested learners into engaged learners.
Great games can be adapted to use for repetition, recognition, recollection, reinforcement or review. (See my teaching article about using the Five Rs: >>>here<<<)
"Play is our brain's favourite way of learning."
Whatever you call it, used over the millennia by millions of teachers! The teacher simply says a sight word, then learners identify the word and whack it whilst repeating the word! Great for small groups or big classes alike, vary teams, vary teams, organise rounds, timed challenges, easy to adapt.
Ask questions about the sight words e.g. Q: Which word means also? A: and. Or you can create sentences with missing words (Dolch words!) e.g. I wish I could have a green ____ a blue hat. Simply ask the learners to fill in the blanks.
My Dolch Sight Word PowerPoints (for all levels) are >>>here<<< each PPT contains a quiz for that PPT's selection of sight words. The quizzes are at the end of the PPTs for you to play with your learners after teaching them the words. Each quiz consists of 10 sentences with missing words. After each quiz, the answers will be revealed-on-click. My learners have great fun with these each week!
Noughts & Crosses/Tic-Tac-Toe/Four-in-a-Row/UNO/Jenga/Pick-up-Sticks
Play your favourite games, just ask sight word questions or ask learners to read sight words before making their moves.
This old favourite is also a great game when learners are more familiar with a group of words or sounds. It encourages learners to voice sounds and words in their minds. They use their imaginations to create variations of words that will fit. The game will also help learners to remember the shape and spellings of words.
Also great for learning the spelling and shape of sight words. Online generators are free on many websites. You can tailor-make crossword clues according to your learners’ levels.
Cricket/Football/Basketball/Table Tennis/Pinball/Beach Ball whatever you like, just ask a question or read a card before each bowl/throw/penalty shoot etc. Perhaps you could even write words on the balls themselves!
Ask questions/practise reading whilst building to the moon with foam blocks, Lego/Duplo, Jenga blocks, cups, playing cards, matchsticks or whatever comes to hand!
Charades/Pictionary/Name the Opposite or Rhyming Word/Jeopardy
Get creative, no need for realia or prep, just dive in and have fun!
Using words instead of numbers. I display flashcards on the board as I read each word. No need to work hard on this, click >>>here<<< for pre-prepared ready-to-go free BINGO game cards, and there’s a game creator if you need it!
The Memory Game
The Memory Game is good fun. I’ll print two copies of a selection of sight word flashcards (the words they most need practise with), then arrange them face down on the board using magnets. Each player/team can turn two cards over per turn. The aim is to remember each flashcard’s word and position after it is revealed, then match two the same on your turn.
Write words with board markers on the colours, or place sight words on the colours, or play with just the sight words. Game on!
I have … Who has …?
I have … Who has …? is exciting, but the class has to be in the right mood, as each player only has one card (due to the size of the class), and some learners can quickly switch off! The game snakes its way around the class, as one learner says “I have he, who has she?” for example, and the next learner says “I have she, who has be?” etc. etc.
Online games are also exciting, racing games or some kind of level climbing games with multiple players to represent different teams in the class. I’ll ask them questions about the sight words and their meanings and award the winners! e.g. This word has three letters. It means “to be allowed to,” or “to be likely to.” It can also be a noun. The noun is a month of year. I asked my Daddy “____ I have an ice-cream?” Yes, it’s May! :O)
There are some great online games here: www.education.com/games/sight-words/