“THE” day is here! Yep! Time to introduce “THE”, a powerful high frequency sight word! Really it is “THE” week! Why “THE”, you ask? “THE” is a word used most frequently in our speaking and writing. This word pops up over and over. It’s EVERYWHERE! “The” is an excellent example of a word that needs to be memorized, be read immediately on sight. I prefer to call the high frequency words sight words. I use a picture of eyeglasses to give the students a visual clue.
Sight words are challenging words that can sometimes be stumbling blocks for our beginning readers. There are two types of sight words. The first group may be phonetically sounded out like it, on, & and. However, if a reader continually stops while reading to sound out these key words, it breaks their fluency which then affects their comprehension. The 2nd group of words DO NOT follow phonetic rules and CANNOT be sounded out. Some examples are: the they have give. Recognizing these high frequency words/sight words by sight are crucial for beginning readers.
Here are some ideas to kick-start this sight word challenge! “THE” day is how it begins. These activities are done over several days to a week. Some of these ideas can be used to teach LOTS of other sight words in days to come.
Learning activities: Word of the Day (or week!) Pin a 3” by 5” card on yourself and announce to one and all, “Today is ‘the’ day!” As you go about the day and are working with your students, point to the card and ask them what this word is. If they say it immediately, praise them. Some years I have given out small stickers but that is not really necessary.
“THE” Word Around the Room Place other “the” word cards around the room. Use different colored ink on the cards. Ask someone to find the red card, stand by it, and read “the” card…AND/OR have students write “the” word in red crayon on their paper. Ask another student to pick and stand by a word “the” in a different color. Now everyone writes it in that color….AND/OR do rainbow writing. A student stands by “the” color card that they want the class to write first. Someone else is selected to stand by another colored “the” card. Students write “the” in a different color on top. Repeat a few more times. (May want to print a page out having the word “the’ as a model for their rainbow writing.)
Word Wall Place a card with the word “the” on your word wall. Students can use it as a resource for reading and writing. Review daily or until the majority of students now can read it. Leave it on the word wall to assist other learners.
Shared Reading- Pocket Chart Poem for the week Use the poem Itsy, Bitsy Spider! Note: This poem has 4 sentences that break into 8 lines. EVERY line has the in it! When setting the poem up for the class in the pocket chart, print it on 8 lines (as shown above). The picture cards shown above can be downloaded on our FREEBIES page.
First Read: Read the poem together as a class (or sing it if you are familiar with the tune). Second Read: Have different children locate “the” on each line using a reading pointer. You can also “highlight” the words when they are found with a piece of colored plastic cut from a vinyl file folder or clip a colored clothespin to the top of the card. Third Read/Another Day: CLAP every time “the” is read. A visual support could be used to help the students focus. Have one student at a time place a colored chip in front of the word “the” in each sentence . This will help the students know when to clap. Each day: Focus on the poem and begin to look at other words as you read it. Students love to put the actions together as they sing the poem.
We have found that putting words to music is an added bonus! Here is a sample of a 3-letter song we use when teaching “the” and other 3 letter sight words. Believe me, this little ditty will get stuck in your head! Stay tuned as more Sight word ideas are coming soon!
Happy Sight word learning!
Jackie & Kylene