Dolch word list
The Dolch word list is a list of frequently used English words compiled by Edward William Dolch, a major proponent of the "whole-word" method of beginning reading instruction. The list was first published in a journal article in 1936 and then published in his book Problems in Reading in 1948.
Dolch compiled the list based on children's books of his era, which is why nouns such as "kitty" and "Santa Claus" appear on the list instead of more high-frequency words. The list contains 220 "service words" that have to be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency in the English language. The compilation excludes nouns, which comprise a separate 95-word list. Between 50% and 75% of all words used in schoolbooks, library books, newspapers, and magazines are a part of the Dolch basic sight word vocabulary.
These lists of words are still assigned for memorization in American elementary schools. Although most of the 220 Dolch words are phonetic, children are sometimes told that they can't be "sounded out" using common sound-to-letter implicit phonics patterns and have to be learned by sight; hence the alternative term, "sight word". The list is divided according to the grades in which it was intended that children would memorize these words.
Dolch list: Non-nouns
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, nine, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm
Dolch list: 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
- Sight word
- Reading education
- General Service List
- Swadesh list
- Most common words in English
- Word wall
- Dolch flash cards by level w/ voice
- Animated Dolch Quizzes
- The 50 most commonly used words in the English language ThoughtCo.
- Sight Words Cheat Sheet
- Dolch, E. W. "A Basic Sight Vocabulary." The Elementary School Journal, vol. 36, no. 6, 1936, pp.456-460.
- Dolch, Edward William. Problems in Reading. Garrard Press, 1948, pp.99-106.