How to Teach SnapWords®

February 04, 2016 0 Comments

How to Teach SnapWords®

I can remember vividly some of the challenges I faced as I tried to provide meaningful and useful activities to the children in my classroom. First of all, I had a wide range of ability levels, had many children with learning challenges, and had several ESL students. I thought there was no way I was going to ever be able to do lesson plans for my class and expect to reach all the learners, unless I planned a lesson for each of the unique learning needs represented in my room. I remember being bedeviled by the suspicion that as I searched for materials to use (we had very little provided to us in terms of curriculum), I was likely omitting some critical reading skills that I should teach.

Six Areas of Reading Skill Included

Essential Components of ReadingThe National Reading Panel Report has identified five areas of skill that must be addressed in order to produce successful readers. Those five areas appear on the flower petals in the image: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. I add the skill of writing as I believe that what a child is learning to read, they also need to learn to write.

Because of the importance of this research and knowing how stressful it was for me to be sure I was covering all the important skills, I worked to create a resource that addressed all these areas, while meeting the needs of visual, right-brained learners who rely on patterns, visuals, and hands-on means of learning for success.

Beyond Sight Words Activities are comprehensive resources that are full of fun activities that provide necessary practice with the six essential components of reading. There are five difficulty levels that correspond to each of the five lists of SnapWords® for a total of 25 levels. 

Simply print or photocopy the activity that meets your students' reading needs to provide them with valuable practice. Activities include ABC ordering, reading assessment, vocabulary bingo, vocabulary crossword puzzles, fill-in-the-blank, go fish, illustrate the sentence, making phrases, making sentences, making words, picture cards, sentence unscramble, sound manipulation, word searches, word sort, word wall games, and a write about it section.

I’d recommend using the 306 SnapWords® set along with Beyond Sight Words Activities as it guides you through teaching 10-12 words at a time, while incorporating phonics, writing, comprehension, etc.

How to Teach SnapWords®

Display one group of words at a time in a pocket chart, visually accessible to the children at all times. 

Use the games and activities in Beyond Sight Words Activities as the children learn and practice their reading skills. 

When they have learned one group of words, put the plain version on your word wall and display the next group of words in the pocket chart. You will be amazed at how quickly the children learn! 

List A

Group 1: a, and, at, by, go, in, is, me, no, not, on, the

Group 2: do, he, help, I, it, my, now, or, see, sit, to, up

Group 3: big, but, can, down, get, has, like, out, play, so, stop, will

Group 4: call, come, did, for, here, little, look, said, this, want, we, you

Group 5: an, are, as, back, have, hi, his, if, jump, make, ran

List B

Group 1: am, ask, be, cut, got, him, into, its, let, run, us, yes

Group 2: away, from, funny, may, must, of, put, say, that, them, they, went

Group 3: any, fly, just, last, many, she, show, than, try, what, when, why

Group 4: ate, fast, good, our, pull, saw, sing, then, too, took, who, with

Group 5: about, all, eat, gave, new, read, still, take, tell, work, your

List C

Group 1: after, bring, cold, going, giving, had, her, hold, man, old, told, was

Group 2: began, better, far, find, kind, never, next, off, over, soon, under, were

Group 3: another, came, give, live, made, oh, other, ride, there, think, very, where

Group 4: around, before, found, how, know, more, much, own, pick, these, those, which

Group 5: again, day, didn't, does, don't, first, gone, hard, long, some, walk

List D

Group 1: across, best, both, fall, full, hot, I'm, left, most, open, same, yet

Group 2: always, clean, high, keep, light, might, need, right, small, upon, well

Group 3: animal, close, even, every, leave, mean, myself, near, sleep, use, while

Group 4: been, draw, grow, hurt, only, round, short, start, today, turn, warm

Group 5: buy, could, done, goes, laugh, once, pretty, should, their, would

List E

Group 1: basement, clapped, drink, father, playmate, prize, stove, stuck, thank, wash, wish

Group 2: because, bicycle, company, flapping, giggle, hitch, imagine, passenger, stumbled, willing

Group 3: careful, carry, certainly, decide, hundred, husband, together, toward, twice, write

Group 4: breath, heard, indeed, instant, mother, pleasant, please, pleasure, tomorrow, wonderful

Group 5: accident, different, enough, it's, realized, shall, struggled, thought, through, whole

Get your SnapWords® here

The easiest way for children to learn sight words is to use words with pictures and body movements -- right-brained hooks essential to visual and kinesthetic learners. SnapWords® are words embedded in pictures, which also have a related body movement. There are 643 words that appear most frequently in texts children read.



1) For each section (there are 25 in all), find the word walls first (at the back of each section) and display them in a pocket chart clearly visible to all your students. If you want to jump-start your class, use the SnapWords® in a pocket chart and post the supplied words on a wall.

2) Print off the reading assessment and have it ready on a clipboard to use in your small groups as you finish each section. Have each child read as far as he/she can in a minute; record the date and how many words the child read. If you make a copy of each child’s assessment, it would be great to share with parents during parent-teacher conferences.

3) With your lesson planner in front of you, lay out plans for 2 weeks at a time. Divide the activities into groups: teacher-led, independent center, whole class games, partner or small group games, writing, etc. Record in your planner which days and times you will use each activity.

4) Any activity that is recorded on paper would make a great contribution to a student portfolio. It would be so easy to tell how each child is doing, where they need more support, and how parents could reinforce their child’s learning at home.

5) When you have determined that all your students know that group of words, post them on the word wall in ABC order and take out the next group of words.

Use SnapWords® Independent Sight Words Centers

Children will learn far more, and more quickly, when they have hands-on, right-brained sight word resources to share with a partner. SnapWords® Independent Sight Word Centers will supply a year-long sight word center and offer you a way to provide differentiated sight word instruction while giving your students ownership of their own learning.