Q:

A few months ago, you had a column that gave a few suggestions about teaching sight words. Can you please give me some more ideas, especially games to play? I would like to help my daughter, who is going into second grade, master the ones she needs to know and have some fun at the same time. - Need Suggestions

A:

A good place to start is by adapting several of your daughter's favorite games. If your daughter helps create these new games, it will give her additional practice in learning the words. Begin by making flashcards for every sight word. Then divide the cards into three stacks: "known" words, "hesitates on" words, and "doesn't know" words. "Known" words are those she can say instantly. You can vary the number of words used from each category to meet your daughter's needs, but you should never use more than five words from the "doesn't know" stack in any game.

Concentration - To play this game, take three words from each stack and have your daughter make duplicate cards for those words. Shuffle the cards and lay them face down in three rows of six. The first player turns over two cards. If the cards match, the player can keep them only if he or she can read the word. Otherwise, play passes to the next player. The winner is the player with the most cards when all the cards have been matched.

Yahtzee - This game will give your daughter intensive word practice. Use two words from each stack. Lay the cards out on the table. Give each card a number from one to six. Play the game according to Yahtzee rules. To be able to write a score down on the Yahtzee score pad, the player must read the word or words of the number or numbers to be scored.

Hangman - Players try to determine a word by guessing the letters, one at a time. Use two words from each stack. Shuffle the cards. Then follow game rules. If the player who is guessing the word can't say it, no points are earned.

I Spy - Give two words from each stack to each player. Select a book that your child likes to read. Alternate reading pages. If a player finds and can read one or more of his or her words, the cards are turned over in front of the player. The winner is the first player to turn over all of his or her cards.