5 Silly Picture Books That Help Teach Sight Words

By the first grade, kids are learning to read many words. They typically learn how to read by sounding out letters in a word phonetically, but English is a funny language and for some words, that just doesn’t work.

That’s where sight words come in. Sight words are often-used words that aren’t as easy to sound out. To make reading easier, children need to learn words such as “the,” “could” and “does,” memorize them, and know them by sight.

The best way to learn common sight words is to read books on a regular basis. With practice and repetition, kids will become increasingly familiar with them and even learn other words with similar spellings. For instance, knowing how to read “the” can make it easier to figure out “them” or even “mother.”

Following are five books that not only contain a high rate of first grade sight words, but are also entertaining to read. Keeping these and other similar books on hand will make reading easier and more enjoyable for your beginning reader:

Are You My Mother?

By P.D. Eastman

Originally published back in 1960, early readers have been enjoying this book for decades.

Loaded with sight words (78% of the words in this book are sight words), the book tells the story of a baby bird who hatches from his egg while the mother bird is away from the nest finding food. He heads off on a brief journey to find his mom, asking every animal he encounters the same question, “Are you my mother?”
It’s a fun book that teaches sight words through Seuss’s signature silliness.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

By Doreen Cronin

Farmer Brown’s cows moo just as they should, but that is not all that they do. All day long, Farmer Brown hears click, clack, clickety, clack, moo. You see, Farmer Brown’s cows like to type. After finding the old typewriter in the barn, they begin typing demand letters to the farmer and go on strike when their requests go unanswered.

This hilarious book includes multiple word families, such as “-old” (with words like mold, sold, and told) and “-ight” (including bright, light, and sight). Learning the sounds of these sight words will help as they go on to read more complex books.

A Fly Went By

By Mike McClintock

Although it’s longer than many typical first grade books, A Fly Went By is engaging enough to keep early readers turning the pages and requesting to read it again.
The book features an ample amount of word and letter repetition as well as rhyming words, all of which are helpful for beginning readers. Words such as ask, that, and ran are woven throughout the story so that by the end, the reader will be quite familiar with them. Silent “e” words abound as well, such as home, tame and here.

Using loads of sight words, the exciting story has many climatic points, which, along with the detailed, full-page illustrations, will make this a favorite for beginning readers.

Frog and Toad Together

By Arnold Lobel

Part of a four-book series, this 1972 title has long been a favorite of first graders, teachers, and parents.

Along with high frequency sight words, such as you, will, it, is, out, now, and the, this book also introduces early readers to nonsense words, blending sounds (such as pl-, st- and gr-) and vowel rules, facilitating a better understanding of how language works.

In addition, Frog and Toad show kids the importance of friendship and working through problems together, which is a valuable message that will last a lifetime.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

By Dr. Seuss

Truth be told, pretty much any and every Dr. Seuss book would make a wonderful addition to a collection of high-frequency sight words, but One Fish Two Fish is certainly a favorite.

The combination of short sentences, easy rhymes, and silly descriptions encourages children to read page after page, again and again. The rhyming in this book provides context that can help a child learn multiple sight words. For instance, learning ink makes reading pink and drink much more simple.
In addition to teaching several sight words including say, what and are, this book teaches colors, opposites, and even introduces first graders to silly nonsense words.

Want more help with sight words? The Dolch Sight Words website provides lists of words children should learn to achieve reading fluency. You can download the comprehensive list or view lists broken down by age and reading levels.

What are some of your favorite sight word books to read with your first grader? Share with us!

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