The Dolch List is the most difficult list of words for Dyslexics to learn. Often parents and teachers will tell us their Dyslexic children will be able to spell more challenging words like "volcano" or "dinosaurs" but not spell the really simple words. These words are often hard for a Dyslexic to and learn and remember as they are not easily connected to something concrete in their minds. For example, they can picture a "volcano" and a "dinosaur" but how do they picture "that" or "or" or "soon". This is similar to their problem with visualizing individual sounds when sounding out a word. They have no meaning to them. "C-A-T" are only sound, "CAT" is an animal.
The Dolch Word List
is a list of frequently used words compiled by Edward William Dolch, PhD. The list was prepared in 1936 and was originally published in his book Problems in Reading in 1948.
Dolch compiled the list based on children's books of his era. The list contains 220 "service words" that have to be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency in English. There is also an additional list of 95 nouns that should also be learned by sight.
Many of the 220 Dolch words can't be "sounded out" using common sound-to-letter phonics rules and have to be learned by sight; hence the alternative term, "sight word." The list is divided into appropriate grade levels; pre-primer, primer, first grade, second grade, third grade and the list of 95 nouns.
THIS LIST IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DYSLEXICS BASIC READING AND SPELLING SKILLS AND WE EMPHASIZE THE NEED TO LEARN AND MEMORIZE THEM IN AN APPROPRIATE WAY FOR A DYSLEXIC.
WE SUGGEST USING OUR "14 STEPS TO SPELLING AND READING" WHICH SHOWS HOW TO STUDY THE DOLCH LIST WITH DYSLEXIC CHILDREN SO THEY CAN LEARN THEM AND COMMIT THEM TO MEMORY.
BOOK SUGGESTIONS TO PRACTICE SERVICE WORDS
Houghton Mifflin asked Theodor Geisel to write and illustrate a children's primer using only the Dolch List. The result of that challenge was "The Cat In The Hat."
More recently, the new line of TOON Books, innovative graphic early readers, has been using Dolch words in their comics by top authors and cartoonists, and three of the TOON Books have received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award from the ALA, given to "the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year."
Betsy B. Lee - Author of the A Funny Dolch Word Book series.
These are books using the Dolch Word List by Betsy B. Lee, Ed. S. in School Psychology and SCBWI member
Review of one of her books- A retired reading specialist who is working with adult literacy wrote this review of the first book in her series of Dolch books.
'I have enjoyed using A Dolch Funny Word Book in my adult literacy class. The first book in the series has given one of my students (a 47 year old man) a great feeling of accomplishment to be able to read an entire page without missing a word and there were NO SILLY KID'S PICTURES! These books have been a real blessing! Thanks. Click Link to her website
Link to an Article by Betsy B. Lee about Dolch words
Mr. Dolch had a look in book after book.
He saw these words in every book,
Again and again when he had a look.
You will see these words again and again, and so
The words that he saw are good ones to know.
DOLCH WORD LISTS
Pre-primer (40 words)
a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
Primer (52 words)
all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes
1st Grade (41 words)
after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, giving, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when
2nd Grade (46 words)
always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don't, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your
3rd Grade (41 words)
about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm
Nouns (95 words)
apple, baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother, cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow, day, dog, doll, door, duck, egg, eye, farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower, game, garden, girl, good-bye, grass, ground, hand, head, hill, home, horse, house, kitty, leg, letter, man, men, milk, money, morning, mother, name, nest, night, paper, party, picture, pig, rabbit, rain, ring, robin, Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun, table, thing, time, top, toy, tree, watch, water, way, wind, window, wood.
Another list of sight words to consider working with for Dyslexics is 1000 Instant Words: The Most Common Words for Teaching Reading, Writing and Spelling by Edward Fry.
The list is 1000 words, in order of frequency, that occur in all literature. The first 100 make up 50% of all written material.
We are providing a pdf file of these words.
Also Edward Fry wrote an interesting essay on the benefit of sight reading. What's So Good About a Word List?