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SnapWords® List A

Our cards use vibrant images and engaging body motions to help children master 59 high-frequency words. SnapWords® are based on brain research and proven to work for all types of learners, especially visual, kinesthetic, and multisensory learners. With SnapWords®, your child will be able to recognize and read sight words in a snap!

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SnapWords® encompass over 640 words that frequently appear in children's texts, making them an ideal starting point for early reading education. Unlike cueing systems that encourage guessing, SnapWords® provide instant recognition of words, reinforcing visual memory and aiding right-brain-dominant learners who think in pictures. 

The images associated with SnapWords® not only link letters in the correct order but also convey the meaning of the word, facilitating a quick understanding. This visual memory, established at a glance, lays the foundation for breaking down words into phonics concepts.

The inclusion of body motion in SnapWords® aligns closely with the word and its meaning, proving crucial for kinesthetic learners who rely on body memory. Developed in response to the needs of visual and kinesthetic learners in the late 1990s, SnapWords® address the struggle these learners face in comprehending phonics concepts. The accompanying SnapWords® Mini-Lessons download offers comprehensive instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, orthographic mapping, instant word recognition, spelling, writing, comprehension, and fluency. 

SnapWords® accommodate the three primary learning modalities—visual, kinesthetic, and auditory.

SnapWords® are available in four formats:

  • Teacher  - physical cards measuring 5.5" x 4.25"
  • Pocket - physical cards measuring 4.25" x 2.75"
  • Download  - printable PDF files of both teacher and pocket size cards
  • Slideshows - include both Google Slides and PowerPoint formats with audio

SnapWords® employs a comprehensive approach by combining the cards with the Mini-Lessons, which begin by identifying the word, crucial for visual learners, and incorporate body motion to engage kinesthetic learners. The subsequent sections focus on the target phonics concept and spelling pattern, immediately applying this knowledge to decode other words sharing the same pattern. The visual, the body motion, and the spoken aspect of SnapWords® combine to target several regions in the brain, making for a rich learning experience.

SnapWords® are crafted to enable new and struggling readers to grasp the entire word and its meaning with the immediacy of capturing an image with a camera. Leveraging the rapid processing of the visual cortex, SnapWords® embeds visuals in the material, ensuring that what students need to learn and remember is swiftly transmitted to their minds. When employing SnapWords®, the image within the word promptly communicates the word's meaning to the child. 

For many struggling readers, the reading process can seem tedious, leading them to focus solely on deciphering words rather than recognizing that words convey a story or meaning. SnapWords® colorful images not only illustrate a mini story but also feature sentences on the reverse side, elaborating on the word picture. 

SnapWords® prove invaluable for restless children who struggle to sit still for more than a nanosecond! The moment they glimpse the card, it's a swift capture — "Blink!" and they've got it. Maximize the magnetic quality of SnapWords® by incorporating them into the games featured in SnapWords® Mini-Lessons. This strategic blend of movement and learning not only enhances comprehension but also fulfills the essential requirement for kinesthetic learners.

To facilitate a seamless transition from the picture side to the plain word, SnapWords® includes a plain font version on the reverse side. Given that visual learning involves the brain quickly storing a mental image, children typically require minimal exposure to the stylized word, often achieving mastery with just one to three exposures.

Continuing with your SnapWords® journey, complement it with the additional download of Sight Words in Sentences. This resource facilitates practice reading SnapWords® within the context of sentences, offering assessment tools, and writing prompts to further enhance the learning experience.

For an enriched learning experience, consider pairing with these other great Child1st resources for an engaging multisensory learning experience!

For additional insights and related topics, explore these recommended articles for a deeper understanding and further exploration!

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What's Included

  • List A includes 59 smaller, high-frequency words covering concepts such as: 
    Final Y /Ī/, Final Silent E, /OW/ Sound, /UH/ Sound, Digraph TH, ERE /EAR/ Pattern, /OO/ Sound, Final Double LL, A vs. AN Before Words, CK Endings, Final S /Z/, & More


  • Download of corresponding SnapWords® Mini-Lessons and Sight Words in Sentences.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are sight words important?

Sight words are critical in early literacy because they make up 80-90% of the words children encounter in text, and recognizing them instantly greatly simplifies reading, improving fluency and comprehension. These high-frequency words, such as "the" and "and," enhance reading fluency, comprehension, and confidence, laying the foundation for more advanced literacy skills, reducing cognitive load, and supporting performance on standardized tests and overall language development. In a nutshell, mastering sight words is essential for building strong reading skills in children.

What are SnapWords®?

SnapWords® are designed to cater to diverse learning styles, particularly accommodating visual learners who benefit from associating words with images, seeing the whole word before delving into details like phonics, spelling, and decoding. This approach begins with presenting the entire word, allowing learners to establish a visual memory of the word's form before exploring spelling patterns and phonics rules, ultimately empowering them to tackle more complex, unfamiliar words. While sequential methods typically start with teaching details before introducing the whole word, SnapWords® recognize that right-brain dominant learners thrive by grasping words and phonics holistically.

For individuals with a left-brain dominant learning style, who think in words and handle abstractions adeptly, the images on the front of the cards may appear redundant or distracting. The unadorned word on the back may align better with their preferences. However, for right-brained visual learners, the inclusion of images is indispensable. These images enable them to create a mental picture and store the entire word in visual memory, matching their cognitive style. This image then serves as a recall anchor, even when they encounter the plain word. If asked how they remember the word while reading, they will often attribute it to the image stored in their visual memory.

SnapWords® take a comprehensive approach by incorporating body motion to engage kinesthetic learners, activating body memory. Additionally, the inclusion of sentences aids in comprehending and using words correctly within the context of sentences. This multifaceted method ensures that SnapWords® address various learning preferences and provide a holistic learning experience.

Which SnapWords® list should I start with?

When introducing sight words to your child, the appropriate starting point depends on their familiarity with these words. If your child is a beginner, commence with List A. However, if your child has some prior exposure to sight words, it's essential to assess their knowledge. Begin with List A and have them read the words aloud. They should be able to recognize and read these words quickly, without the need to sound them out. If your child successfully reads all the words in the list, advance to the next list and repeat the evaluation process. In cases where your child encounters words they need to sound out, it's advisable to commence with that specific list. Initiating with a list that contains words they already know provides a confidence boost and helps them transition to this new approach to learning.

SnapWords® Assessments

What is the difference between Teaching Cards and Pocket Chart Cards?

The Teaching Cards come in a convenient size of 5.5" in width and 4.25" in height, making them perfect for group instruction. If you prefer a more compact option, the Pocket Chart Size Cards are half the dimensions, measuring 4.25" in width and 2.75" in height. These smaller cards are excellent for small group activities and independent practice, offering flexibility in how you use the materials.