First Grade Sight Words: List and Basics

First Grade Sight Words: List and Basics

First grade sight words are important for ensuring your child has the reading skills they need. Getting sufficient practice with these words is increasingly impactful as your child moves through first grade. Sight words will create the groundwork on which to build further, more complex reading skills. 1st grade sight words are an alternative name for 1st grade spelling words and are what helps 6 and 7 year-olds become faster, stronger readers. 

first grade sight words list

What are Basic Sight Words?

Sight words, also called spelling words, are words that a reader recognizes immediately. Familiarity and fluency with sight words mean that your child will not have to sound them out or ask for help. As your child develops their reading skills and practices different words, their vocabulary will expand. Rather than learning as many words as possible, students practice basic words and phrases in first grade. Sight words practiced this early are generally basic and commonly found in any written text. Developing word recognition skills is extremely important. The ability to identify and understand commonly used words impacts their ability to read as a whole.

List of 100 1st Grade Sight Words (or 1st Grade Spelling Words)

  • A, about, again, air, all, along, also, another, answer, any, are, around, away
  • Because, been, both
  • Carry, change, come, could
  • Do, does, don’t
  • Earth, even, every, eye
  • Father, find, four, from
  • Give, good, great
  • Have, head, here, high
  • I, is
  • Kind, know
  • Large, learn, light, long, look
  • Many, might, more, most, mother, might, move, my
  • Near, night
  • Of, off, often, on, one, only, other, our
  • People, put
  • Right 
  • Said, saw, school, should, some, something
  • The, their, there, they’re, they, thought, through, to, too, two
  • Very 
  • Walk, want, was, water, were, what, when, where, who

As you can see, many of these words are similar in structure, but not in pronunciation. For example, “though” and “through” look nearly identical. Despite this, they are pronounced very differently. Even more important are the differences in their meaning. For example, if your child cannot differentiate between “to” and “too,” they will face some confusion.

The goal of these first grade spelling words is more than simple recognition. It is also to cement their meaning, pronunciation, and structure in place. 

How Many Sight Words Should a 1st Grader Know?

Your child should know the above 100 sight words by the end of first grade. Spelling words are vital to your child’s reading skills. While these 100 are vital, knowing more can’t hurt. If your child is no longer struggling with these words, they’re ready to learn some more.

What are Fry’s first 100 words?

first grade spelling words

Fry’s first 100 words is a list of sight words commonly referred to for teaching and practicing. They are also referred to as “instant words.” The list came from a list of words previously compiled by Dr. Edward William Dolch in the 1930s. Years later, Dr. Edward Fry expanded and refined this list. He eventually published a book titled “Fry 1000 Instant Words.” According to his research, the words he compiled make up about thirty percent of written texts. 

The 1st grade spelling words that Fry compiled are the most commonly used words in the English language. Without these, your child will have poor reading fluency. It’s easy to think that more difficult words deserve more focus. After all, they’re challenging and take some time to learn. Despite this, your child needs to first have the basics in order to work up. 

While Fry’s list is common and useful, there are many other lists of sight words for first grade that are equally beneficial. You may find that drawing from many different lists is useful. You will also find that most contain similar, if not the same, words. 

Ways to Study 1st Grade Sight Words

Studying first grade sight words can mean different things for different students. There are plenty of ways to practice at home. Try a mix of methods to find the ones that work the best for your child. 

Sight Word Flashcards

Flashcards are a study tool applicable to almost every subject. They’re perfect for learning sight words because of their instant and focused nature. Just make sure you’ve found a set with sight words for first grade, as there are sets that exist for many grade levels. Available here is a set of flashcards with 500 words of varying difficulty. Conveniently, the difficulty levels are sorted in rainbow order. Red words represent the easiest. Orange, yellow, green, and blue follow, with purple weighing in as the most difficult. 

If purchasing a set of flashcards is not possible, there are plenty of printable versions available. 

Read as Much as Possible

spelling words for grade 1

Reading practice is vital. Knowing sight words is important, in fact it is one of the most important parts of kindergarten readiness. Seeing them in context is very helpful. If daily reading practice at home is not a part of your child’s routine, it’s vital that it is incorporated. You can have them read aloud every night before bed. Making a habit of reading practice will solidify what they have learned. It also ensures that they will continue to sharpen their skills outside of the classroom. 

Find a public library in your area. This is a free and fun way for your child to find books that interest them. Asking them to read from a book that they have chosen will be a lot easier than asking them to read from one that has been assigned to them. Books with pictures and rhymes will be more appealing to them as well. 

Sight Word Coloring Pages

Your child is probably a fan of coloring. Why not incorporate some studying into it? Sight word coloring pages are a great way for your child to learn. Many of them have simple sentences or phrases that your child can color and read aloud. Others are a little more challenging. They have a coloring key with colors identified by the first grade sight words.

For example, you may find a coloring page with a flower on it. Also on the page is a key that says “their=green, there=pink,” et cetera. The word “their” is written on the stem and leaf of the flower, “there” is written on each petal.  This means that your child must read and identify the words in different places on the page. 


If you’re looking for other ways to help your child study, ArgoPrep’s educational platform is an excellent place to learn. With interactive lessons and plenty of materials to choose from, your child is sure to succeed. See the ArgoPrep difference for yourself.