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Edward Dolch – The Father of Sight Words And His Lists

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Edward William Dolch was a prominent American educator who lived from 1889 to 1960. He is best known for his contributions to the field of literacy education, particularly his creation of the Dolch sight word list. You’ll find this list that contains 220 high-frequency words (AND Free Printable Flash Cards!) that are essential for children to learn in order to become proficient readers.

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Dolch’s interest in literacy education began in the 1930s, when he was working as a professor of education at the University of Illinois. He noticed that many children were struggling with reading, and he became determined to find a way to help them. After analyzing thousands of words from children’s books, Dolch identified the 220 most common words that appeared in these texts. He believed that if children could quickly recognize these words, they would be able to read more fluently and with greater comprehension.

Today, the Dolch sight word list is still widely used in elementary schools across the United States. Teachers use it as a tool to help students learn to read and write more effectively. Dolch’s legacy lives on through his contributions to literacy education, and his work continues to impact the lives of children and educators alike.

two girls holding up spelling tests with the words Edward Dolch - The Father of Sight Words And His Lists. All of Dolch Sight word lists, dolch sight word flashcards, and a history of Edward William Dolch.
Edward Dolch – The Father of Sight Words And His Lists

Early Life and Education

Edward William Dolch was born on March 20, 1895, in Merrill, Wisconsin. He was the son of German immigrants and grew up in a bilingual household. Dolch attended the University of Wisconsin, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 1917. He later earned his master’s degree in education from the same institution in 1924.

During his early career, Dolch worked as a teacher and principal in various schools in Wisconsin and Illinois. He also served in the United States Army during World War I and was stationed in France for a period of time. It was during his time in the military that Dolch became interested in literacy and language education.

Dolch went on to earn his Ph.D. in education from the University of Illinois in 1934. His doctoral dissertation focused on the teaching of reading and language in the elementary grades. This research would later become the foundation for his work on the Dolch Sight Word List, which is still widely used today in early literacy education.

Overall, Dolch’s early life and education provided him with a strong foundation in education and language instruction, which he would use to make significant contributions to the field of literacy education.

Teaching Philosophy

Dolch was a proponent of whole language instruction, which emphasizes the importance of meaning and context in reading. He believed that reading should be taught as a meaningful and enjoyable activity, rather than as a set of isolated skills. Dolch also believed in the importance of using children’s literature as a primary tool for teaching reading, as it provides students with engaging and authentic reading experiences.

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Publications

In addition to his work on sight words and whole language instruction, Dolch was also a prolific author of children’s books. He wrote over 40 books for children, many of which were designed to help young readers develop their skills in reading and writing. Some of his most popular books include “The Magic Fish,” “The Happy Prince,” and “The Little Red Hen.”

Dolch’s books were known for their engaging storylines, colorful illustrations, and focus on developing literacy skills. To see a list of books (used first publications) you can see a full list of Edward W. Dolch’s books here on Thriftbooks.com. Some other more popular books by Dolch was Gulliver’s Stories retold be Johnathan Swift, and Folk Stories- A Dolch Classic basic reading book.

Overall, Edward William Dolch’s contributions to education have had a lasting impact on the field of literacy instruction. His work on sight words, whole language instruction, and children’s literature have helped countless students develop the skills they need to become proficient readers and writers.

Dolch’s Legacy: Sight Words and the Dolch List

Edward William Dolch was an American educator who made significant contributions to the field of literacy education. One of his most notable contributions was the creation of the Dolch sight word list. This list contains a set of 220 words that are commonly used in the English language and are essential for students to learn in order to become proficient readers and instill a joy of reading. The Dolch list includes words such as “the,” “and,” “is,” and “was.” Dolch believed that these words should be taught as sight words, rather than through phonics instruction, in order to help students develop fluency and automaticity in reading.

What are the Dolch Sight Words?

Below are the Dolch Sight Word Lists along with links to download flashcards for each! Feel free to use for personal and classroom use only! Tag us on social media @HomeschoolFreebiesandGiveaways

Pre-primer Dolch Sight Words: (40 words) a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you (CLICK HERE to download your FREE Pre-Primer Dolch Sight Words Flash Cards!)

Pre-Primer Dolch Sight Word List with words listed: (40 words) a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
Pre-Primer Dolch Sight Word List

Primer Dolch Sight Words: (52 words) all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes (CLICK HERE to download your FREE Primer Dolch Sight Words Flash Cards!)

Primer Dolch Sight Word List (52 words) all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes

1st Grade Dolch Sight Words: (41 words) after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, going, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when (CLICK HERE to download your FREE First Grade Dolch Sight Word Flash Cards!)

1st Grade Dolch Sight Word List (41 words) after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, going, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when
1st Grade Dolch Sight Word List

2nd Grade Dolch Sight Words: (46 words) always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don’t, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your (CLICK HERE to download your FREE Second Grade Dolch Sight Word Flash Cards!)

2nd Grade Dolch Sight Word List (46 words) always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don't, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your
2nd Grade Dolch Sight Word List

3rd Grade Dolch Sight Words: (41 words) about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm (CLICK HERE to download your FREE Third Grade Dolch Sight Word Flash Cards!)

3rd Grade Dolch Sight Word List (41 words) about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm
3rd Grade Dolch Sight Word List

Dolch also came up with a separate list nouns to be learned as well. Third graders can also learn these fun list of nouns to widen their language skills. The Noun Dolch Sight Words are: (95 words) apple, baby, back, ball, bear, bed, bell, bird, birthday, boat, box, boy, bread, brother, cake, car, cat, chair, chicken, children, Christmas, coat, corn, cow, day, dog, doll, door, duck, egg, eye, farm, farmer, father, feet, fire, fish, floor, flower, game, garden, girl, good-bye, grass, ground, hand, head, hill, home, horse, house, kitty, leg, letter, man, men, milk, money, morning, mother, name, nest, night, paper, party, picture, pig, rabbit, rain, ring, robin, Santa Claus, school, seed, sheep, shoe, sister, snow, song, squirrel, stick, street, sun, table, thing, time, top, toy, tree, watch, water, way, wind, window, wood

As a homeschooling mama, I really appreciate a list of sight words and spelling words to work through for the first couple of years of elementary school. These lists are the ones we used as we learned to read using The Good and The Beautiful Level K Language Arts.

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