Lester teaches sight words with a Word Wall
Lester teaches sight words by presenting common words on a Word Wall. (Words such as come, the, this, is, and can are examples of sight words.) The sight words are grouped alphabetically in slot-like fashion (e.g., all the Aa-words, Bb-words, Cc-words, etc.). Lester reviews all the sight words daily by simply pointing to each word and saying each word aloud in unison with the children.
Why this lesson falls short for some children...
First, similar to the alphabet chart lesson, young children can get bored with drilling which hinders their attention.
Second, the presentation of the sight words on the Word Wall (in slot-like fashion and grouped by letter) is arbitrary and does not assist children in remembering the spellings of sight words. There exist alternative arrangements that are more effective in helping children learn sight words.
Third, although children may recognize the sight words on the Word Wall due to their daily repetition, they may still struggle to use each word in an actual reading or writing context. Young children are often unable to bridge the gap between the general presentation of the sight words on a Word Wall and the specific instances in which the words are used in a real-life context.
Fourth, Lester’s daily drill of the sight words falls short because the children are merely recognizing the sight words by memorization and are not actually reading them by applying their letter-sound knowledge. Memorized knowledge is not real knowledge that can be transferred to reading other words.
Learn to teach this lesson properly
- Teach sight words to children without boring drilling methods.
- Teach children to read sight words by using letter-sound knowledge and cognitive strategies, instead of simply memorizing the words.
- Teach sight words in ways that will help children to later apply the information to real-life reading and writing contexts.
- Use word walls effectively during instruction.