As any teacher or parent of an emerging reader will tell you, there are certain key words that children must learn in order to become fluent readers. These words, called Sight Words, are words like “of” and “the” that appear frequently and are often not spelled phonetically. Children must learn to recognize and read these words by sight, as stopping to sound them out would slow reading speed down significantly and make it difficult to promote comprehension.
So how do we learn these words? For many, flashcards are an obvious choice since these are words learned through repetition that must be recognized at first sight… but how dull! As a kindergarten teacher, I had a massive Sight Word Wall where we posted words like these throughout the year to practice and to build familiarity, and many other creative exercises and ideas have been shared by teachers, therapists, and parents to make learning more fun (just go to Pinterest and search for the term!).
Because learning these Sight Words is such a fundamental piece of becoming a successful reader, I am beyond thrilled that ThinkFun came out with Zingo! Sight Words! This game uses the addictive fun of the Zingo! Zinger (I mean seriously addictive – have you ever tried to pry that thing away from a 5 year old?!) and modified game play to feature 26 critical Sight Words.
These words were selected by teachers and language therapists in the US and Canada from the 220 words on the official Dolch Sight Words list as the most important words for young readers to practice.
But don’t take my word for it, Zingo! Sight Words was awarded the Play Advances Language (PAL) Award for supporting language development through play and chosen by the organization as a top 10 game for 2012! Read more in this press release.
Check out this amazing expert review of the game on the Toys Are Tools blog. I love this blogger’s photo (and the word she invented in the accompanying caption!) – learning in action!