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Why SnapWords® are Crucial for Beginning Readers

by Sarah K Major February 03, 2016

Why SnapWords® are Crucial for Beginning Readers

Children who struggle with sight words, struggle with reading

The importance of reading is obvious; it can enrich our lives in ways nothing else can. Reading takes us to faraway lands, helps us develop social and language skills, and function in our modern society. So, why are we letting so many struggling readers slip through the cracks in our school system? According to Do Something, 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. Given what we know about how children learn, this is unacceptable. At Child1st we have devoted ourselves to providing all children with the tools they need to succeed at reading. Not all children learn in the same way, and Child1st has developed and created resources for struggling readers - children who learn best through a right-brained/visual approach.

1 in 4 children in America can't read, and 40% struggle to read

Sight words, also known as high frequency words, are an essential part of learning how to read. 

The top 300 or so sight words make up about 75% of all written material. These commonly used words are given to young readers to memorize because they are often hard to sound out or (match sounds to letters). For example, shouldn't said rhyme with aid? Why is it that some children struggle to memorize these words? It's because memorization is not the way they learn best. 

SnapWords® work when nothing else does because each word is embedded in a visual. 

Many other sight words flash cards have a word BY a picture or they don't have pictures at all. The child would have to just memorize the picture that goes with each word. SnapWords® can be learned as quickly and effectively as a mental camera snapping a picture of the word and its meaning. Most struggling readers need images to help them read, and until they learn to make them for themselves, use SnapWords® to jump start them into reading fluency. SnapWords® are comprised of 633 high frequency words, including 220 Dolch words. See examples of SnapWords® below.


"Most struggling readers need images to help them read until they can learn to make mental images for themselves"


SnapWords® are comprised of 633 high frequency words, including 220 Dolch words. See examples of SnapWords® below.

     Why SnapWords are critical for struggling readers                 SnapWords help struggling readers

To get a better idea of just how common sight words are take a look at Theo LeSieg's Ten Apples Up On Top! The words in red are Dolch words, which make up 88% of this text. Because there are 633 SnapWords®, the percentage of sight words to whole text increases to over 90%. It is clear by looking at the words in black how easy it would be for a child to read this story once he or she can recognize sight words instantly. 


Ten Apples On Top

by Theo LeSieg

Follow this link to find other popular children's books and the percentage of Dolch words in them. These examples make it clear just how important mastering sight words are. If you know a child who is struggling to read, try our free SnapWords® printable with them today.

Sarah K Major
Sarah K Major


Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.