Teaching High Frequency Words

Posted by Kristy Beaudry McCain on Jul 21, 2014 2:10:39 AM

Helping Students To Read With Automaticity

books-around-world-22302531High-frequency words are the most commonly used words in printed text. At least 50 percent of all text is composed of HF words. Many sight words are phonetically irregular. Children do not sound out sight words. The words tend to be abstract, and have limited visual correspondence. Students must memorize the words in order to read quickly and fluently.

Strategies to help students learn high frequency words:

  • Provide students with books to practice high frequency words.
  • Use texts specifically created to practice high frequency words
  • Make high frequency flashcards
  • Construct tactile flashcards-students can use glue and sand to write high frequency words
  • Create high frequency word books
  • Cut HF words out of a newspaper or magazine. Glue them on construction paper or poster board.

High Frequency Readers

Readers have the opportunity to enjoy these titles that practice high frequency words. These colorful texts can be used to introduce students to sight words. These texts offer a great opportunity to enrich student’s educational skills by introducing them to new academic content and vocabulary. Big Universe offers hundreds of titles in many different languages on thousands of topics. Find these delightful and engaging texts that help children learn to read at www.biguniverse.com

thumb The Zoo

by Sharon Lewis (author), Sou Saetern (illustrator) © 2011
ISBN: 9781620468470

Using the high-frequency word “I,” this book introduces several useful vocabulary words for zoo animals. Repetitive language and interesting illustrations support beginning readers.

thumb-1 My Clothes

by Sharon Lewis (author), Sou Saetern (illustrator) © 2011

ISBN: 9781620468449

Readers learn the high-frequency word “my,” along with several useful vocabulary words for articles of clothing. They can color the black-and-white illustrations and follow along with the text by using the dots below each word.

thumb-2 Food

by Sharon Lewis (author), Sou Saetern (illustrator) © 2011
ISBN: 9781620468463

Illustrations and familiar content provide support for emergent readers as they learn the high-frequency word “like” and vocabulary words for food.

Connecting To The Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards clearly outline what is expected of students at each grade level. The Common Core State Standards can be found at www.corestandards.org/

The CCSS address high frequency words.

Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

big book kid read

For more information on high frequency words visit


Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Big Universe News, Integration Ideas, Literacy

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