First Grade Sight Words

Learning phonics and decoding is vital for first grade readers, but it can be beneficial for first graders to learn a short list of words by sight. The best first grade sight words are those not decoded easily but instead, high-frequency words children see and hear often.

Most children who know their letter sounds easily blend phonetically spelled words as they read. However, sight words may be difficult for a child to learn because they are often not spelled phonetically. This is one reason it’s a good idea to use a list of sight words for practice. 

The Good and the Beautiful First Grade Sight Words

The Good and the Beautiful handpicked a short list of high-frequency sight words for first grade learners. Many of these are spelled phonetically but use complex phonics rules children do not learn until later in their education.

Our Level 1 list of sight words for first grade contains 51 of these words that are more difficult to spell. 

Download a free First Grade Sight Words printable poster, set of flashcards, and list of fun practice activities and games! 

Other Common Sight Word Lists

Dolch Sight Words List

The Dolch Sight Words List from the 1930s makes up about 80% of the words children third grade and younger read daily. 

Fry Sight Words List

The second 100 Fry sight words make up about 50% of the words a child reads daily. It was created in the 1950s by Dr. Edward Fry. 

*Both the Dolch and Fry lists of sight words contain many words easily spelled phonetically. 

Download the Dolch and Fry First Grade Sights Words here!

Should Children Memorize Sight Words? 

Pros of Memorizing Sight WordsIf the most frequently used words in texts are memorized and the child doesn’t have to take time to stop and decode the words, the child can read more quickly and pleasantly.
Cons of Memorizing Sight WordsMost of the Dolch and Fry kindergarten sight words can be easily decoded. 

Children have only a certain amount of time to learn each day. Time spent memorizing high-frequency words can instead be applied to a good phonics program that teaches the child how to decode and read those words as well as many others.
Memorizing words can be just as hard and take just as long as learning to decode the words.
The Good and the Beautiful Philosophy on First Grade Sight WordsThe Good and the Beautiful, one of the most widely used homeschool curriculum programs, focuses on phonics while having children memorize a short list of the highest-frequency words that can’t be easily decoded at this age level.

This method has proven successful with hundreds of thousands of children using The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Courses.

Included in our FREE download is a set of flashcards containing The Good and the Beautiful’s 51 Level 1 sight words, along with simple game and activity ideas!

We recommend printing the flashcards on cardstock for durability and suggest using 6–15 words at a time, depending on your child’s needs.

Download instructions for fun games such as: Sight Word Soup, Paper Ball Tic-Tac-Toe, Sight Word Go Fish, and more!

Learn more about our award-winning first grade language arts homeschool curriculum!

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  • Jayden Green

    I need to get going on these! Definitely appreciate the free downloads. 😊😊

  • Noel Anders

    This is my favorite blog post I found! I’m so glad you had us find one for the giveaway. I had no idea this was even here. So excited to print them off and use them!