List Of Tricky Words For Kids To Practice

Last Updated on February 9, 2022 by Editorial Team

Language skills are one of the most basic skills taught at kindergarten and above levels. These skills, which will be useful all through life, are needed to develop communication abilities in a child. A usual learning progression path starts with attaining letters’ knowledge, and gradually kids are traversed through concepts of spelling, vocabulary building, and reading.

In one of our previous posts, we have acquainted our readers with sight words. Going a little further, we cover in this post the tricky words, which are similar to sight words but maybe spelled differently from the way of sounding these out. Mostly, teachers and parents use tricky words list to teach these to the growing children.

List of tricky words for kids

Tricky words are also known as common exception words. These are called so because the rules deviate while forming the spelling. Corresponding to the level of study, the educators usually divide the list of tricky words year-wise. Thus, you can find the tricky words list categorized as:

YEAR 1YEAR 2YEAR 3 & 4YEAR 5 & 6
theafter accident(ally) harass
hereMr. earlysacrifice
told possess(ion)
  • Year 1: The, I, do, to, no, my, here, there, house, push, pull, was, are, into, come, some, like, live,full, they, by, one, once, love, live, etc.
  • Year 2: after, again, beautiful, behind, child, clothes, Mr., Mrs., everybody, Christmas, father, find, floor, class, climb, could, pretty, plant, poor, improve, who, wild, would, whole, last, many, most, children, hold, told, great, break, steak, people, grass, hour, sugar, etc.
  • Year 3 and 4: accident(ally), answer, sentence, imagine, interest, eight, early, enough, favorite, forward, complete, history, notice, often, opposite, possible, potatoes, reign, remember, strange, strength, believe, bicycle, breathe, experiment, experience, important, particular, peculiar, possess(ion), pressure, straight, thought, weight, woman, wrist, suppose,etc
  • Year 5 and 6: harass, government, guarantee, achieve, accommodate, ancient, sacrifice, queue, recognise, competition, appreciate, foreign, familiar, physica, persuade, parliament, frequently, mischievous, community, conscious, controversy, conscience, vegetable, variety, various, restaurant, recommend, etc.

Hence, you can see a pattern that indicates an increase in difficulty level with every passing year. Children need to be regular with learning words with exceptional spellings so that they can write and speak using better words and with natural fluency.

Ways to intervene tricky words

Teachers can help children learn tricky words faster by establishing letter-sound correspondences and learning by imitating and repetitions. Rote rehearsing coupled with phonics decoding is used to make the child familiar with words having exceptional spellings or phonics. The other teaching intervention tools useful for acquainting kids with tricky words are:

  • Use of phonics books: Teachers can guide children to adopt a disciplinary approach by reading phonics books containing tricky words regularly. Phonics books have engaging stories with illustrations. Thus, kids can learn how to sound words with common exceptions in spelling, as well as their usage in a sentence.
  • Tricky words mat: It is a playful intervention tool that teachers may employ to teach kids about tricky words. They may create the mat by picking words from their own list or may download the mats available online. Mats comprise the letters which kids point out to form spellings. With the increase in study levels, the complexity of words increases too.
  • Play memory games: A number of words-based games like Hangman, Go Fish and Concentration can be played with kids as a part of practical intervention of the concept of tricky words. The concepts of synthetic phonics like breaking the word into phonemes and blending them back to form words are used for designing these games. A few sight words board games based on a little more difficult words also serve the teaching objectives convincingly.
  • Use letter-sound correspondence while teaching: It is exactly what we meant when we mentioned above that teachers provide support to children while sounding out words. Teachers break the word and show letter-sound correspondence to children and ask them to repeat and rehearse to master the difference between the sounds. For example, in the word, ‘was’, the teachers break the word into w, a and s. Then, they give example like w as it sounds in van, a as it sounds in car, and s with a sound of z. This is how they teach children to decode phonemes, understand their specific sounds and blend those to make the word. However, the teaching may become more difficult when the words are of quite irregular nature. Friend, Thought, Enough, etc. are such words where letter-sound correspondence is too difficult to establish; mastering these is possible only through repetitions.

How learning tricky words help build language skills?

Whether it is learning sight words or tricky words, the child ultimately adds more to vocabulary. Hence, vocabulary building is one of the prime advantages that children derive from learning tricky words. Other skills developed from the tricky words list learning, that help build language proficiency are:

  • Spelling-building skills: Children can spell words with added fluency as the tricky words due to their repeated appearance in text become easy to memorize after a few repetitions. Thus, they can find a considerable improvement in spelling abilities once they master the list of words with exceptional spellings.
  • Reading comprehension improvement: Familiarity with tricky words improves kids’ understanding of the written text and derive the meaning correctly. The inclusion of skills like prosody and fluency enables kids to enhance reading abilities, leading to better results from learning to read approach.
  • Improvement in speaking ability: Since the learners gain comfort with the new words added to vocabulary, they exhibit fluency in speaking. Thus, they form better sentences and ultimately express themselves more clearly.

Wrapping up,

Mastering a tricky words list is one of the important tasks at the preschooler stage. It can help in improving reading fluency and comprehension and enhances understanding of the reading text. With the regular revision of tricky words, you can expect children to groom into confident readers, and wordsmiths. Hence, learn the ways mentioned above, know about the challenges too, and select teaching strategies and interventions that help children become masters of tricky words.

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