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Sight (Popcorn) Words

Popcorn words are words that occur frequently (pop up!) in written material and that students need to recognize quickly.  They are also known as high frequency words, word wall words, or sight words.  By becoming familiar with them, your child will have an easier time with reading.  Each week we will introduce 1-2 words and practice them at school.  You can help your child by also studying them at home.

Here are some ways that you can practice "popcorn" words with your child:

  • Make flash cards of the words.  Time your child to see how many he/she can get correct in one minute.
  • Use 2 sets of words written on index cards.  Play a game of Memory with them.
  • Make a BINGO game and write each  word in a square.  You can use pennies, Cheerios, raisins or another treat as your Bingo chips.
  • Have a scavenger hunt.  Look for heart words in books you read together.
  • Pour salt, sugar, flour, or sand on a cookie tray.  Have your child trace the words in this medium.
  • Rainbow write the words.  Your child should trace each word in at least 3 different colors.  Be sure they say the word each time they are finished tracing it in one color.
  • Spell the words in the air, on someone else's back, or on the carpet.
  • Do jumping jacks.  Have your child do one jumping jack for every letter in that sight word.
  • Do other exercise activities such as toe touches, sit-ups, push-ups, etc
  • Ask your child to “feed” a mini trash can or hand puppet the sight words one at a time as you call them out.
  • Make a “Word Wall” at home and keep a running list of all words learned.
  • Video your child saying his/her heart words and send it to a loved one.
  • Make a parking lot on a piece of paper with parking spaces.  Write each heart word in a space and have your child “drive” a car into the spaces as you call out different words.


The best thing about popcorn words is that they can travel!

  • Take words with you while you run errands. You can hole punch them and keep them on a ring.
  • Have your child practice these words while a sibling is doing homework.

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