Dolch Sight Words
What are the Dolch Sight Words?
After surveying a great number of children's books, Edward W. Dolch compiled the Dolch Sight Word lists to help parents and educators improve the reading ability of their children.
The lists are made up of 220 frequently used words (primarily pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and verbs), and 95 common nouns. These lists are estimated to contain 50-75% of the words found in children's books.
The Dolch words are commonly referred to as 'sight words' because they cannot often be represented by illustrations or sounded out phonetically. Instead, they need to be recognized 'on sight'. A child knowing all the Dolch words will be able to recognize the majority of words in children's literature, and experts therefore recommend that children learn these words by the end of the first grade in school.
Although the Dolch word lists are divided into five levels (pre-primer to grade 3), words in the second and third grade lists do appear in books for younger children, just with less frequency. Therefore, all the words should be recognizable by the end of grade one.