In this post, I will go into what sight words are, the difference between sight words and high-frequency words, and ways to use this printable PDF list of 100 high-frequency words in Spanish as sight words for preschoolers, kindergarteners, first, second and third graders in the classroom or at home.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this post, I need to tell you an honest truth.
Children’s literacy is new territory for me.
I am not an early childhood educator or a teacher at all. This means that I do not have any professional experience teaching kids to read, not in English or Spanish.
Nonetheless, I am a forever student of Spanish, and I am always eager to learn.
I also have an almost-four-year-old bilingual toddler who will embark on his literacy adventures shortly. If I can give him a big head start in his minority language, Spanish first, even better!
Recently, I received a question from one of my readers asking for tips and advice to help one of her students learn to read in Spanish, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond.
That’s when I started researching. After hours of research, I am now very zealous about the topic, and I have SO MANY ideas of posts lined up that I am anxious to get out ASAP.
Now that I told you my truth, and you know I am NOT an expert—not yet at least— in children’s literacy, I want to dive into my first literacy post in Spanish. This post will talk about high-frequency words in Spanish and ways to use them as educators use sight words to learn how to read and write in the English language.
First, I will go into what sight words and high-frequency words are, how they differ, and I want to offer ways to use the FREE printable PDF list of 100 sight words in Spanish at home or in the classroom!
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What are sight words?
“Sight words are the building blocks of the literacy instruction.” – Weareteachers.com
Sight words are simple, common words taught to kids to be memorized and eventually recognized within three-seconds.
Memorizing sight words help kids become faster and more fluent readers.
In the English language, practicing sight words and doing sight word activities are extremely helpful due to English’s non-phonetic nature. Non-phonetic means the pronunciation of a word does not correspond to its’ spelling.
Many sight words in English include words that do not fit phonetic patterns, i.e., of, through, through, etc.
On the other hand, Spanish is a phonetic language, and despite a few rules, each letter has one sound. This means that there is a heavier focus on phonetics-based learning over word memorization when it comes to teaching children how to read.
Phonetics-based learning works on breaking down the different letters and syllables of words.
I will go more into this in a future post.
What are high-frequency words?
High-frequency words are the most commonly found words.
Sight words and high-frequency words share similar concepts and are often used interchangeably, though they are not the same.
Sight words are words that can be quickly read by sight. These are words that are memorized and, many of which do not fit a phonetic pattern.
High-frequency words are the MOST COMMON words found in texts. When children study high-frequency words and recognize them immediately, they turn them into sight words.
Tina, from Primary Delight Teaching goes more into how to turn high-frequency words into sight words here.
I do not remember doing sight word practice as a child. As a more right-brained thinker, I most definitely would have benefited from repetitive and memorization activities such as sight word activities.
Memorization and repetitive activities are how I learned Spanish and two other languages as an adult.
That is why, even though Spanish literacy takes a phonetic-based approach, I think that it would be beneficial to implement high-frequency word activities to guide children in their Spanish literacy journey.
I plan on executing some of these activities with my son Lennox over the next couple of months to see, and if these activities prove useful, I want to share them with you!
In the meantime, keep reading to see a list of ways you can use high-frequency words in the classroom or at home.
Ways to use high-frequency words in the Spanish classroom or at home
- Reading: The only way to become a better reader is through reading. Reading exposes children to new high-frequency words as well as new vocabulary. Allocate a slot of time in each day to read to your child.
For tips on reading to a bilingual child click here.
- Word of the day: Each time you read a book, scan through the book first to see if a particular high-frequency word frequently appears. Practice that word a few times with your child or student and have them locate the word with their finger when it comes up in the book.
For a list of children’s picture books in Spanish, click here.
- Songs– pick a nursery rhyme or children’s song and practice it throughout the week. Once your child becomes familiar with the song, give them a piece of paper with a particular high-frequency word and have them raise it in the air when they hear the sight word in the song.
You could also print out the lyrics to the song and have your child circle or highlight the high-frequency word as well.
- Poetry: Poems use a lot of high-frequency words. Print out a poem in Spanish with your child and have them circle the high-frequency word of the day! You might even learn some new vocabulary yourself =)
- Scavenger hunts:
- Choose a certain amount of sight words and hide them around the house or classroom.
- For some advanced extra fun, throw in a couple of words that are not on the list.
- See how many words your child can find that are on the list!
Related: Seasonal scavenger hunts in Spanish for kids
- I-Spy – write a couple of words on a paper, and see if your child can identify the high-frequency word of the day!
- Manipulative activities– using any concrete objects, blocks, shapes, cookie cutters, etc., have your kids explore letters with a hands-on approach.
How to get your free printable list of 100 high-frequency words in Spanish?
If you are already a subscriber, this list of 100 high-frequency words in Spanish will shortly make its way to your inbox.
If you are new to Lorena & Lennox, Bilingual Beginnings, or have been shy to subscribe, you can do so at the end of this post. You receive exclusive access to ALL of the printables available in the library.
To check out what other printable activities in Spanish there are, click here.
If you do not wish to subscribe— I understand. My inbox gets jammed as well— you can purchase these printables for a small charge at my TPT site here. Either way, you are helping to support this blog!!!
Well amigos, I am sure there are TONS of more ways to use high-frequency words. Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to get out a couple of posts with activities that will help you use this list! Stay-tuned.
PLEASE leave me a comment below, letting me know your thoughts or opinions.
Again, this is a new area of education for me, so please do not hesitate to correct me on any errors or offer any recommendations!