Quick and Simple Ways to Make Fun Sight Word Games

Literacy

Professional Development

August 29, 2019

Quick and Simple Ways to Make Fun Sight Word Games

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Motivating students to master sight words plays a large part in helping them learn the words, but how can we do that without reinventing the wheel? Before I figured out a simple and easy way to practice words and make fun sight word games, I constantly searched for the latest and greatest to practice.

Scouring Pinterest in the evenings, I tried “How to best practice sight words.” “Fun ways to practice sight words.” “Can someone else just come and practice with them?” I spent so much time searching and pinning that I barely got anything done.

When I looked around my classroom, I finally realized I could take the games I already had (and my students loved to play) and turn them into sight words games. Making time for games in the school day proved to be difficult, but if I could integrate them with sight words, it would be fun, justifiable, and motivating. Plus, the added bonus of students working cooperatively.

How To Turn Regular Games Into Fun Sight Word Games

Just about every childhood game can become a sight word game. All you have to do is add either:

  • Sight word cards.
  • Sight words to the game pieces.

That’s it! Here are some regular games you might have lying around the classroom (or at home) that you can turn into fun sight word games.

Slap Jack

  1. Place a label, using my favorite “oops tape” over the Jack, Queen, and King cards and write a different sight word on each card. OR write the sight word directly on the card.
  2. Students must say the name of the card before they can slap the sight word card and collect the pile.

Memory

  1. Write sight words on picture memory cards. OR cut index cards in half and write each sight word you want to use on two different cards.
  2. When students flip their two cards over, they must read the sight words. If they make a match, they get to keep the cards.

Tic-Tac-Toe

  1. Write sight words on index cards.
  2. Put them in a pile, face down.
  3. Students must take a card and read it. If they can read it, they can make their X or O on the gameboard.

Candy Land

  1. Write a sight word on each of the cards (or just the double square cards if every card seems like too much).
  2. Students will read the word on the card before moving spaces.

Connect 4

  1. Write sight words on index cards.
  2. Put them in a pile, face down.
  3. Students must take a card and read it. If they can read it, they can drop their piece into the slot to try to get four in a row.

Uno

  1. Write a sight word on the numbered cards for the game. Again, if that’s too much for you to do, you can just pick some cards to write on.
  2. Students play the game as usual, but they must read the word on the card before they can play it.

Tip: You can write the same word several times throughout a game, especially one with lots of cards. Use words that your students struggle with, too! Repetition is good!

Click HERE to grab the FREEBIE!

How to Use Sight Word Games During the Day

Several great opportunities exist throughout the school day to squeeze in these fun sight word games. You can let students play games:

You can start by using the first set of words you want students to master and add new sets as you introduce them. You can also just have the words your students are currently working on. It’s totally up to you and what you think will work best for your students.

How to Get Help Preparing the Games

Use the parent volunteers who have offered to help you in the classroom. If you haven’t asked for volunteers yet, try using something like Sign Up Genius to recruit some. These are easy tasks you can send home with a student for parents to work on from home. I also liked using upper-grade students who liked to help out before school. Think about who you could ask and ask them. Just give them:

  1. A printed out list of words to use.
  2. The game pieces to write on, note cards to write on, or printed out cards to cut apart.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any volunteers. These games will take less than five minutes each to prep.

Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Take a look around your house and classroom. Ask for donations of games that families are no longer using. Put games on your Christmas wish list. Check out resale shops for affordable games.

Use those games that your students love to integrate sight words. It’s a great feeling to listen to students’ soft giggles, squealing, and yelling “yes!” while they practice sight words. Mixing fun and learning engages students every time.

If you need a simple, efficient way to track your students’ sight word progress, check out this system HERE. I also have a helpful blog post that shares all of the elements included.

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Happy Teaching,

Amanda

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Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!

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3 Responses

    1. Hi Karen! I’m not sure what you are referring to. 🙂 There is a free handout for the sight words games. Is that what you are looking for? Let me know! I’m happy to help!

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