Sight word sentences for emergent readers

Last month, we looked at when to teach sight words and where to begin. The next step is to move on to small sentences of sight words.

Let’s have a look at sight word sentences for emergent readers! Learning sight words is an important step in literacy development because much of the text we read every day will contain these words. By developing a solid foundation of sight word knowledge, your children can become more fluent readers as they quickly identify common words without having to pronounce them. This amplifies their comprehension and writing abilities, too, while making it easier to decode the rest of the text.

Read on to learn all about early literacy with sight word sentences.


child reading to learn sight word sentences

There are lots of ways that you can teach your child sight words. From games to flashcards and worksheets, there is an abundance of resources available both online and in-store. While teaching individual sight words is a great place to start, at some point your child will need to practice identifying these words in sentences, too.

It is also important to consider which other words your child knows how to read when introducing sentences. If the materials you provide your child are filled with words they don’t yet know how to read (aside from the sight words you’re working on), it can be quite frustrating for them. Our goal is to increase confidence and a love of reading, here, so frustration should be avoided where possible!

Example Sight Word Sentences

Here are some examples of sight word sentences:

Sight Word Sentences Worksheet

For an idea of what sight word sentences look like in practice, I encourage you to check out A Teachable Teacher’s Sight Word Sentence Bundle. This is a great bundle with tons of sight words included. While I would encourage working through the worksheets themselves, I would also suggest you use the word groups for other games and activities, too. You’ll see what I mean if you keep reading!

Tips for Teaching Sight Word Sentences

Learning how to read is a big task! Going from being read to, reading along with, and then reading on their own are all important milestones in your child’s literacy journey. Whether they are still reading with you or are seeking independence in the reading process, sight word sentences are a great place to start.

Here are some tips for parents:

  • Keep things fun
    • Try to keep the reading process fun, low-stakes, and enjoyable! Foster a love of learning by keeping the activity light. This way, your children will remain excited about learning to read sentences all by themselves
  • Be Clear in Expectation
    • Make sure it is clear which word(s) your child is looking for! They’ve likely learned a lot of new words recently, be sure to clearly identify the word of focus. You can do this by asking your child to highlight, underline, or circle your focus word before jumping into an activity
  • Read Sentences Together First
    • By reading the sentences out loud with your little, you will be able to help them with any words they get stuck on and their pronunciation in general
    • Ask them to use their finger to track their reading!
  • Provide Various Ways to Learn
    • I go more into detail about this below, but try to keep things fun and creative. Providing a variety of resources (worksheets, games, videos, etc), your children will be more engaged while learning sight word sentences
early childhood literacy - sight word sentences

Teaching Sight Word Sentences for All Styles of Learners

The first step (after you’ve practiced individual sight words) is to introduce sight word sentences to your child. To most effectively do this, you’ll have to leverage your knowledge about your child and their preferred way of learning! For example, some children may love worksheets but others may find them boring.

Determine which type of resource will get your child most excited, and go from there. Below you will find a resource example that appeals to each type of learner.

  • Auditory & Musical Learners
    • Musical learners benefit most from literacy associated with music. Whether you are finding songs with sight word sentences online, or creating your own, try incorporating rhythm and music into their learning.
      • For example, Have Fun Teaching has a fun sight word sentence song that your kids may enjoy!
  • Visual & Spacial Learners
    • Visual learners thrive with visual concepts like drawings, maps, and videos. For these children, connecting the concept of word to image is key.
      • These Sentence Building Cards are a fun way for visual learners to create their own sight word sentences. They have pictures and words on some of the tiles.
      • Here’s another fun game to get your little ones moving: Sight Word Running! *This game is best played outside or in a big open space – Wherever you’re okay with the children running!
        1. Create large cards with the sight words you are focussing on written in big bold letters
        2. Place the cards around the room or yard
        3. Have everyone stand up and get ready to run
        4. Read out a sentence that contains one of the sight words. Slightly emphasize the sight word. When the children hear the word, they have to race to the card! Whoever gets there first wins!
        5. Ask the children to spell the sight word out together before reading the next sentence
  • Verbal Learners
    • For this kind of learner, they will benefit greatly from reading text out loud and reading with other people. Auditory learners favour hearing examples through spoken word, discussion, and creative writing.
      • The Toobaloo Auditory Feedback Reading Phone is a great tool for individual reading. Because children can whisper the words to themselves, they are practicing auditory learning while increasing their pronunciation and comprehension abilities, too!
      • Another fun way to demonstrate learning is to create stories with their sight words. You could create a story with your children, and after writing it down for them ask them to find the sight words that they know within the story. Be sure to give lots of examples and to gently guide them towards the words you are practicing!
  • Logical and Mathematical Learners
    • Logical learners tend to gravitate towards patterns, groupings, and problem-solving based learning. To appeal to this type of learner, try to include patterns and numbers within their reading. You could also emphasize math type words (more than, less than, etc).
      • Try encouraging them to group sight words together. To do this, I would first give the child a few sentences with sight words in them. Ask them to highlight these sight words (“Please highlight the word the“), then get them to read the sentence. After, create groups of similar words by numbers and patterns. You could group by:
        • The number of letters in the word
        • Words that start with “L” (or any other letter)
    • Logical learners also like to predict. To appeal to this, you could have a few sentences with the sight words missing. Simply provide them with the sight words and ask them to place them in the correct sentences!
  • Physical & Kinaesthetic Learners
    • Kinaesthetic learners prefer hands-on learning styles. They are action-orientated and learn best when their full body is engaged in the learning process.
      • An easy way to appeal to physical learners is to ask them to air spell the sight word after they read it. First, identify which sight word you are focussing on. Then, ask them to read a sight word sentence and to spell the sight word in the air!
  • Social & Interpersonal Learners
    • Interpersonal learners prefer collaborative work rather than being on their own. While many of the above learning styles may appeal to their learning preferences, they thrive in environments where their opinions are valued and incorporated. Interpersonal learning is more about the setting than the approach, so you’ll likely find resources that they enjoy in multiple of the five examples above.
  • Solitary & Intrapersonal Learners
    • Opposite to interpersonal learners, solitary learners prefer to work on their own. Similar to social learners, they will likely enjoy numerous different learning styles, but will feel more comfortable working on their own than with other children. If this is true for your child, providing them the opportunity to work away from other kids will be ideal.

*While I highly suggest finding the learning style that most appeals to your child when teaching sight word sentences, I also want to remind parents that using a mixed learning approach is a good idea, too! Your child may connect with various different resource types, so definitely consider incorporating more than one kind of resource from this list. In fact, many of the resources on the list appeal to multiple learning styles.

Elke Crosson

Elke Crosson has her BA in International Relations with a minor in Spanish at UBC (Okanagan). She is currently in her second year of the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with dreams of becoming an elementary-level teacher.

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