Information and activities are from the NIE Institute.
Fry’s Instant Sight Words and the Newspaper
This resource provides the first 600 sight words identified by Dr. Edward Fry as important for students to learn through about 4th grade and in adult education, with practice phrases and sentences, and a variety of newspaper activities.
Newspaper Activities for Learning Fry’s Instant Sight Words
Sight Words In the News — You can easily have your beginning reader practice sight word recognition by using the newspaper! This works very well, because sight words make up more than 50% percent of most every day reading material. Newspapers are loaded with sight words! You’ll need a highlighting marker or scissors, glue and paper to go on this treasure hunt.
Write the sight words that you wish to target on a list or on flashcards. It’s important for early learners to have a model to match. For more experienced readers, you can show the list or model briefly and then have them find the target words from memory.
Give the student a newspaper that can be cut up or marked upon. Use the highlighter to color the target words wherever they are found. Use the scissors and glue to cut the words out and paste them onto a new page to make a collage. You can use this activity again and again! Just choose new target words & grab the newspaper.
Fry’s Newspaper Bingo — Have students work in groups to find 25 or more Fry words in the newspaper. Have students write nine of the words on their bingo card. Place all the cut out words in a pile. Draw words from the pile. If players have the word on their card they will mark that spot. The first player to get three in a row, either down, across or diagonal, wins. The bingo board is on the last page of the download.
Newspaper Letters to Form Fry Words — Cut out letters from newspaper headlines. Use the letters to form Fry words.
Word of the Day — The teacher should find one or more sight words in the newspaper each day to place on a vocabulary board. Then have students find that word used in sentences in the newspaper. Have students write that word on their own vocabulary list. Keep adding daily words to this vocabulary list. Have students use this list when reading and to practice the words.
Newspaper Flashcards — Find five sight words in large bold headlines that your students need to practice. Paste or laminate each word from the newspaper on a separate card. Hold the cards in a pile showing students one at a time. Work through them several times to see how quickly students can read them. Add two or more new words every day and continue to practice them all.
Newspaper Concentration / Memory Game — Help students find eight Fry’s words in the newspaper that students needs to practice. Discuss the meaning and context of the words. This helps memorization. Have students make 2 cards for each word. Shuffle the cards and place them upside down in 4 rows of 4 cards. Take turns turning over 2 cards and read each as it is turned. If the 2 cards are the same word, that player keeps them and takes another turn. Cards that do not match are turned face down again in the same place. Continue playing until all the cards have been matched. The player with the most cards wins!
These activities adopted from Tips for Sight Words, www.allinfoaboutreading.com.
Scatter sight words from newspaper headlines, face-up, around the classroom. Use one copy of the word for each child playing the game. That is, if three children are playing, use three copies of each word. Call a word from the list and challenge the students to be first to find and run to the target word. You can make this as competitive or cooperative as you’d like, or even try to beat previous records.
Hide sight words from newspaper headlines around the classroom. Have students find them and return to you to read. When one word has been read, the student can go out and look for another.
From the front cover of the newspaper the teacher will call out sight words for students to find. Students will find the word and then write it down followed by the full sentence that it was found in. This helps students understand the meaning and usage of the words.
The teacher will choose a paragraph or two from the newspaper that contains several Fry words. Have students read the section and highlight the Fry words they find. Now read the text in unison, but allow the student to read the highlighted words alone. Remediate students that missed some of the words.
Read a sight word together in the newspaper several times, spell it out loud, then have students blot out a letter with a marker. Read the word again, visualizing the missing letter. Be sure to spell again on each round. Continue to blot out letters, then read and spell until the word is no longer visible. Now have students write the word in a sentence.
Have students find Fry words in the newspaper. Then have students cut out the words and place them in alphabetic order. Students could also write a sentence using each word.
Have student trace over sight words found in headlines and regular text in the newspaper. This will help them remember words and develop printing skills in small and large sizes.