High-Frequency Words: Classroom Activities

Dr. Jean Feldman

High-frequency words are those words that occur often in print. Rather than having to sound them out individually, children will be able to read more fluently if these words are "automatized" (i.e., they "automatically" recognize them when they see them).

These words should be used in context and not "drilled." Make up games, use the words in stories, highlight them on language experience charts, etc. At the bottom of this page are suggested high-frequency words for beginning readers. Again, choose words that your children are interested in and focus on words when children are READY!

Skill Developed:

  • Recognizing high-interest words.

Materials Needed:

  • Index cards
  • Sentence strips
  • Markers
  • List of high-frequency words


  • Word of the Day
    Introduce a new word each day and add it to a growing list on the wall. Have children use the word in sentences, identify it in books, or point to it in the classroom.
  • Screen Saver
    Put high-interest words on your computer screen saver.
  • Show Me
    Place words on the floor or on a table. Call out a word, then choose a child to "show me" and use it in a sentence.
  • Word Hunt
    Pass out books, magazines, or newspapers. Show the children a word, then ask them to find it in print.
  • Line Up
    Pass out a word to each child. When you call out their word, they may line up or move to a new activity.
  • Games
    Use sight words in file folder games and card games such as "Go Fishing," "Bingo," "Concentration," etc.

Suggested High-Frequency Words

  • a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you

Excerpted from Dr. Jean Feldman’s Ready Set Read!

Reprinted with permission from:

SDE/Crystal Springs Books
Ten Sharon Road – P.O. Box 577
Peterborough, NH 03458
1-800-924-9621. All rights reserved.