1. Introduction

We begin introducing a new word with a simple and straightforward exercise, the See & Say technique. The parent or teacher holds up a flash card with the new sight word and has the child repeat the word multiple times while looking at the flash card.

This technique of exposing your student to the word and having them repeat the word several times is the most basic way we introduce a new sight word. It gets the child using both their visual and auditory senses.

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2. Procedure

Video: Technique One: See & Say

Be sure to hold the flash card at arm’s length from your body, and at arm’s length from the child. The flash card also needs to be held at the child’s eye level. We want to make sure that the child is focused on the written word on the flash card, not on your face or mouth.

Each and every time the sight word is read aloud, the person saying it should use two fingers, their index and middle fingers, to trace the arrow on the flash card from left to right, thereby “underlining” the word. This helps keep the child’s attention focused on the written word, which will help them to become familiar with and memorize the word and its correct spelling.

Here is a sample script for you to follow:

Adult: Let’s learn a new word. My turn. Ready? ONCE.
            Again: ONCE.
            What word?

Child: ONCE.
Adult: Yes! I ONCE was a little girl.
            Now it’s your turn.

Child: ONCE.
Adult: Again.
Child: ONCE.
Adult: One more time.
Child: ONCE.
Adult: Good job!

By using this technique, the child will hear and say the word at least seven times, and hear it used in a short sentence, all while looking intentionally at the written word on the flash card. In the following techniques we will add extra stimulation, using the kinesthetic sense and adding spelling to make an even deeper cognitive impression.

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29 Responses to “Technique One: See & Say”

  1. Caryl Vim

    Thank you for this useful information! God bless!

  2. April Mims

    Thank you! Nobody ever told me HOW to teach Sight words!

  3. Neelam rathi

    Thank you. That’s an interesting and engaging way of teaching sight words.

  4. Moni

    You have no idea how effective this is. I tried it after trying everything that I could think of, this really works.

  5. shalini singh

    This is an amazing way of teaching sight words to the children.

    thank you.

  6. Joann Clair Privitera

    I teach English to young children in Italy. I used this technique with my classes and also with private lessons.
    It’s great and children loved it.
    Thanks a lot.

  7. Shelley Aaronson

    Thank you so much! I have some children that pick up sight words naturally in text, and others need so much repetition. Thanks for helping. God Bless!

  8. Faby Mendez

    Thanks a lot!!! This is the first time I know how to teach sight words to my kids. It’s so easy and I’m sure we’ll spend more time together playing and learning. Thanks again.

  9. Emma

    Thanx, great refreshing techniques

  10. Nan

    I use this technique with Spelling by adding the word ‘Spell” after say. It has helped.

  11. rosemarie cagampang

    Thank for the tips, my children are so excited with the game idea you have given….God bless & more power!!!!

  12. Susie Lostetter

    My little great nephew was born prematurely. He was held back due to just not being ready to advance. He is in kindergarten, and the teacher is working on sight words. He has a very difficult time with the “th” words. When his mom works with him on those words, he gets very frustrated and then makes up a “guess” word. Say, that becomes we, which is totally wrong, and then the frustration sets in. We had a long discussion this morning, and I threw out all kinds of ideas to her, some of which she may try. Above all, do NOT let your child see your frustration and never talk down to them. One hundred praises can be shot down with one negative comment. I suggested getting a chart for him with the th separate from the ending letters, memory hooks, etc. There must be a better way. Do you have any ideas to help him grasp what is being taught? Thank you so much.

    ADMIN – Hi Susie,

    Take a look at the activities in the Digraph Sounds module of our Phonemic Awareness curriculum. This covers the two-letter digraph sounds: th, sh, ch, wh, and ng. Follow our instructions for teaching what th looks and sounds like. Hope that helps him get familiar with hearing and reading the th words!

  13. Desiree fortich

    This was really helpful. Before finding this I was honestly, frustrated. Being grandma, and in round two, I want to be wiser, patient and effect this generation, APPRECIATE THE MATERIALS, I’M NOT ALONE. THE BEST IS HERE, THANK YOU

  14. Farah

    Thanks for the creative way to teach the kids the sight words ..will give it a try.

  15. teaches2read

    I love the videos for these. I’ve used these techniques for years and find them to be very beneficial! I’d like to share with our teachers in the form of a handout. Do you by chance have the techniques in handout form with a picture of the techniques as well?

    ADMIN – Hi Teaches2Read,

    Great idea. We will add that to our to-do list!

  16. Danielle

    I like this technique, I will be trying it my son. He is in kindergarten and learning so many new words. Thank you for sharing this great resource.

  17. ms lanar.

    Thank you! The smart monsters in my class love this.

  18. Jazmine Neuse

    Thank you for this site. This site is very helpful to me teaching my kids.

  19. suki

    Hi…need to know if I can use the same technique for a child slightly on the spectrum but verbal.

    ADMIN – Hi Suki,

    Yes, you can use the same techniques on children with mild learning disabilities. We have a background in special ed, and used these techniques with our kids.


    I am a teacher and it helped me immensely. Thank you.

  21. dr. evelyn m. badlon

    Such perfectly and articulately planned resource materials. Congratulations!

  22. janasia

    How can you do sight words testing for 1st graders?

  23. Malena

    Aloha! I just downloaded some sight words – the first 40 for the pre-k – and I was wondering, how many words should I do a day? And how frequently? I’m not sure if this was already asked. I just wrote them on an index card and I’m going to try them with my child today.

  24. Christine S

    I was a sales rep and was told there are 7 “touches” before something is considered branded. That’s why you see commercials over and over. This is a similar technique. I did daycare in my home for many years after that and I used this method. It worked great.

  25. Amalia Lee

    Thank you so much for the teaching strategy lesson.:)

  26. Minhduc

    Thanks so much for all these useful teaching techniques. They help me to find out an effective way to teach my child.

  27. Gracie Hutcherson

    Need technique for teaching sight words.

    ADMIN – Hi Gracie,

    We recommend that you set aside any words the children stumble on, and give those words further review using our five teaching techniques. Each of the 5 techniques is designed to stimulate different areas of the child’s brain, and the air writing and table writing help develop the child’s “muscle memory” as well.


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