Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Editorial Team
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How can sight words be taught with board games? Yes, it may sound weird at first, but it is quite a helpful method. Board games help develop an interest in kids and keep them indulged in learning basic skills. Let’s first acquaint ourselves with sight words.
Importance of sight words
Reading and writing skills are hard to gain without sight words knowledge; children suffering from learning difficulties need to lay more emphasis on these to be conversant with functional reading. These are the most common words that give structure to your language.
One easy way to differentiate these words is that you cannot associate them with any image. For example, helping verbs, propositions, common nouns, pronouns, etc., are some components of written and spoken language that one can locate the fastest in written material. Also, these sight words be it regular or irregular, pass through the readers’ eyes so swiftly that they don’t even realize having read them. Since these are basic language-building components, the students are supposed to know them right from the pre-schooler stage.
How board games are useful in teaching sight words?
- Help build sight word vocabulary in a gamified way of learning (Sprenger, 2010).
- Teach how to identify and apply sight words through gameplay
- Offer an extra and new way of practicing sight words when worksheets become monotonous.
- Bring speed in the identification of sight words, thereby help increase fluency in using them.
- Motivate children to read and practice sight words through an engaging gameplay
Which board games can help you become fluent with sight words? If you are thinking the same, look at the following board games that help improve identification and speed up the usage of sight words correctly in both written and spoken English.
Top board games to master sight words
1. ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words Reading Game
It is a brain-stimulating game that drives attention to spotting sight words with dexterity and speed. Students can see, act, and apply sight word knowledge to complete the gameplay and develop coherence in thinking in the process. By the act of matching cues with the slots on the sheets provided, the learners can hone their sight word-matching skills. It replaces letter-to-letter spelling learning with matching activities, Further, the aim of creating a pattern keeps the young kids compelled to try this game again and again, and read the sight words as often as possible.
2. Melissa & Doug See & Spell
How about identifying words by sight and learning to write their spelling too? This board game comes with an enriched collection of letter tiles and picture cards with slots to insert those tiles. Kids at the preschooler stage can hone their letter identification abilities and form and learn to spell sight words.
Those with writing difficulties find an alternative to learning spellings of basic and advanced sight words while evading writing struggles. This board game is effective in building word-building skills. Suitable for preschoolers to elementary school students, the game offers advantages of motor skills, basic language proficiency, and memory retention.
3. The Fidget Game
Let your kid learn a whooping 220 high-frequency sight words by playing this fun and entertaining Fidget Game. By regularly playing this board game, children learn to identify, read, and spell a variety of sight words like pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, and more. The pack contains square pop-it fidgets and packs of sight words segregated as per grade level.
Play this game when you want them to get off their screens or while you’re on a long road trip to keep kids entertained. Let kids pick a card and read the word, then roll the die to pop as many bubbles on the square fidget as the number on the die. The player who manages to pop all the bubbles before anyone else wins the game!
4. BOHS Literacy Wiz Fun Game
Learning how to identify the lowercase and sight words come easy with this tabletop game. Kids are shown pictures, and they pick the letters tiles to form the corresponding sight word. The ease of picture-word association and writing spellings are two outcomes one can enjoy by playing this game.
Teachers can move kids up through the difficulty ladder by asking them to identify and match sight words within a specified time limit. You will find an improvement in kids’ spelling and word usage abilities by giving them regular practice of sight words with this game.
5. Pint-Size Scholars Sight Words Pizza Board Game
Learn 90 basic and 30 advanced sight words with this board game. Instead of memorizing sight words, the kids learn by doing activities like reading them aloud, using them in a sentence, and tracing their letters on their arms. Thus, this board game offers a wholesome learning material that stimulates their mind for more active absorption of sight word ideas.
Designed appealingly, this board game offers deeper engagement levels and takes away the hitch towards practicing sight words. Teachers can use this as a competition material and give sight words’ introduction playfully.
6. Sight Word Bingo Game
The Bambino Tree realizes how much kids love to play the game BINGO. And so they have designed this engaging game called Sight Word Bingo! Parents and their kids can enjoy this game at home, but the sheer number of players it can accommodate makes this game a perfect choice for classrooms as well.
The game comprises 108 sight words, which are divided into two levels. Level 1 consists of the easiest sight words to master and is suitable for pre-K and kindergarten students. Level 2 has words that are a notch trickier to grasp and are suitable for kindergarten to grade 1 students.
Worried about the durability of the game? The cards are thick with a waterproof coating and meant to last for a long time. If you’re looking to teach sight words to your child or students in a way they never get bored of, give this bingo game a try!
Board games offer participative learning support for the sight word early learners. These games are designed to deliver quality learning support that helps kids become sight words fluent in identification, spelling, use in a sentence, etc. So, the kids are sure to have a basic foundation strengthened despite various struggles. When looking for ways to work around learning hurdles, adopt board games as tools that can help promote an inclusive learning model.
- Browder, Diane & Xin, Yan Ping. (1998). A Meta-Analysis and Review of Sight Word Research and Its Implications for Teaching Functional Reading to Individuals with Moderate and Severe Disabilities. The Journal of Special Education. 32. 130-153. 10.1177/002246699803200301.
- Gibbon, J. M., Duffield, S., Hoffman, J., & Wageman, J. J. (2017). Effects of Educational Games on Sight Word Reading Achievement and Student Motivation. Language and Literacy Education, 13(2).