Lesson plan

Handy Sight Words

Who knew that sight words could be so handy? This super simple reading lesson is perfect for students who love arts and crafts. It combines a short project with fun sight word memorization activities.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theLearning New Sight WordsPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theLearning New Sight WordsPre-lesson.

Students will become familiar with new sight words.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Sight Word CardsTeacher Modeling PageSight Word ChecklistMemory Match Game
  • Begin a clapping rhythm, and have the students echo your clap.
  • Change the rhythm several times, asking students to echo the claps each time.
  • Tell the students that today, they will be using their hands to learn about some new sight words.
  • Hold up some of the sight word cards.
(5 minutes)
  • Cover the teacher modeling page by placing it into a dry erase pocket or covering it with a dry erase sheet. Display it using a document camera.
  • Write a sight word on the line. Using a clapping pattern (one clap for each letter), model clapping out the sight word. For example, you could clap and say: "a-n-d...and!"
  • Erase the page, then repeat the process with four more words.
(10 minutes)
  • Write down the first sight word once again.
  • Divide the students into pairs.
  • As you point to each letter, have each pair of students do a front hand clap. (This looks like they are giving their partner a double high five.)
  • Have the students say the letter at the same time they clap.
  • Change speeds and rhythms to make it more fun and to keep students on their toes.
  • Repeat this exercise for all five words. After each word, ask a student to give an example of how the word could be used in a sentence.
(15 minutes)
  • After they have practiced reading and saying the words, have the students create a visual that will help them remember the words.
  • Give each student a piece of construction paper and have them trace their hand.
  • Ask the students to write one of the words they just learned on each finger.
  • Cut out each student's hand for him when he finishes.
  • Now, students have a "handy" tool to help them remember their sight words.


  • If students struggle with the tracing their own hands, complete this portion of the activity for them. If needed, prepare hand-shaped cut-outs in advance.


  • Students who complete the Independent Working Time assignment early can play the Memory Match Game in pairs.

An interactive whiteboard may be used to display the teacher modeling page. Instead of wiping the page after each word, you can have the page repeated as five slides.

(10 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and ask students to read the words on their "hand" and use them in sentences.
  • Record students' responses using the sight word checklist.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask all of the students to bring their paper hands and come sit in a circle on the floor.
  • Give the students a clue about one of the words you went over today. For example, you could say, "I am thinking of a word that starts with the letter S."
  • Have the students guess the word. Then, invite other students to give clues and have their classmates guess the word.

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