How To Teach First-Grade Sight Words To Early Readers: Activity Ideas

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Reading and recognizing sight words is the first step of your first graders' journey to reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. Still, it doesn't have to be boring or time-consuming. Here are some engaging, easy-to-implement, interactive, and amusing ideas to try at home or in the classroom for when you need a few more ideas and are stuck for time.

Whack A Sight Word

This fun first-grade sight word game takes the classic game whac-a-mole to a new level using the equipment you have on hand. You can use this idea in small groups or as a whole class.

  1. Print and laminate the sight words you want children to learn on an A4 or A5 sheet.
  2. Give them a plastic tool to hit the words. This could be a small play hammer or even a pencil. 
  3. Shout out the word; they must whack it, say it loud, and check it off with a whiteboard pen when they've identified the correct word.
  4. The first person to check off all of the first-grade sight words shouts mole as loud as they can!


Sight word first-grade flashcards are a helpful resource to have on hand because you can use them in a multitude of ways. We have some ideas here that you could use in your classroom on an interactive board. Simply flip the flashcard and get a sample sentence. Read through them as a class, and then see if your students can make simple sentences with them! Check out our interactive page for more flashcards!

Flashcard Hiding Bag

When teaching the common core first-grade sight words, it's a good idea to start with a few at a time. Have a soft bag to put the flashcards in; just choose a few at a time. Place them in the bag and have students take them out. If you have a book that contains the sight words you want to focus on, you can work on matching the sight word flashcard with the words in the book. To keep your resources fresh, we recommend laminating them. That way, sticky fingers won't ruin them and are easy to clean. Also, you can use them for years to come, saving you more time!

Sensory Bins / Boxes

Sensory bins are fun for first graders; they appeal to the senses and encourage active exploration, which is perfect for early readers who are learning to read and recognize words/letters. You could put rice or sand in the bin, go to your local park, or even outside in the garden, and practice writing the letters and words in the sand while saying them out loud. It's also the first step to writing, so you can equip children with reading skills and writing fluency!


Remember at school when you had to trace letters and words for what seemed like hours on end? Well, that's because tracing words and letters not only helps with writing skills but also reading comprehension and word recognition. You can work on tracing in first grade by sending home worksheets or elevating the activity and tracing letters and words onto the sand, some rice, and other moveable material, like eco glitter. Tracing and writing also help build hand-motor skills, so it's a win-win!

Reading and recognizing first-grade sight words doesn't have to be boring for our early readers, so why not check out our interactive page for activities you can try in the classroom or at home?

Games and activities like these are super simple to play and require very limited equipment. The more you play around with sight words, the better your students or children will get at identifying and recognizing first-grade sight words, which will help them become stronger and more confident readers!

Our list of activities is designed for you to play around and have fun with your students, so we hope you've found some you might use, or mabye they've inspired you to come up with your own! Sight word games are designed to be fun, engaging, and interesting for your first graders, so let them have fun while learning. Check out our interactive page for more ideas.