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High Frequency Words

What are High Frequency Words?

High frequency words are the most common words in our language. We use them often in both speech and writing. They can also be called sight words. It is important that children know how to read and spell these words.

 

The first 100 High Frequency Words

This table shows the first 100 high frequency words in order (those used most often in a text):

The first 100 high frequency words

By the end of Year 1, children should know how to read all, and spell most, of these words.

Children are taught these high frequency words during Letters and Sounds phonics phases 2 to 5. In each phase, a selection of the 100 high frequency words are focussed on, and are split into two groups - decodable words and tricky words.

Decodable words are those that sound the way they are spelled or can be sounded out because they have letter-sound relationships already learned.

Tricky words are those that have unusual spellings, contain new sounds and graphemes, or don't follow ordinary phonemic rules.

 

Phase 2 High Frequency Words

Decodable words: a, an, as, at, if, in, is, it, of, off, on, can, dad, had, back, and, get, big, him, his, not, got, up, mum, but, put (north)

Tricky words: the, to, I, no, go, into

Here is a FREE set of Phase 2 Tricky Words Flash Cards for you to download.

 

Phase 3 High Frequency Words

Decodable words: will, that, this, then, them, with, see, for, now, down, look, too

Tricky words: he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her

Here is a FREE set of Phase 3 Tricky Words Flash Cards for you to download.

 

Phase 4 High Frequency Words

Decodable words: went, it's, from, children, just, help

Tricky words: said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what

Here is a FREE set of Phase 4 Tricky Words Flash Cards for you to download.

 

Phase 5 High Frequency Words

Decodable words: don't, old, I'm, by, time, house, about, your, day, made, came, make, here, saw, very, put (south)

Tricky words: oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could

Here is a FREE set of Phase 5 Tricky Words Flash Cards for you to download.

 

The next 200 High Frequency Words

The next 200 high frequency words follow on from the first 100.

This table shows the next 200 high frequency words in order (those used most often in a text):

The next 200 high frequency words

Ideas for Teaching High Frequency Words

Flash Cards

  • This is a tried and tested way of helping children to learn high frequency words. They can be grouped into smaller (more manageable) sets that can be added to as children become confident with reading and/or spelling them.
  • You could use two sets and play a game of matching pairs - shuffle the cards, then place them face down. Take it in turns to turn over two cards and read aloud the words. If they match, the player can keep the pair and have another go.
  • You could hide the cards around the classroom or home, and challenge children to go on a word hunt find a particular card.
Child holding up high frequency word cards

Dictation Passages

  • Provide children with a piece of writing where the high frequency words have been replaced with blank spaces. As the piece of writing is read aloud, children follow the text and listen for the missing words, writing them in as they hear them.

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check

  • This is another popular way of teaching children to spell words. First they will look at the word. The next step is to say it aloud so they can hear it. After that, they cover the word over with either their hand or a piece of paper. Then, they will try to write the word in the next column of the table. Finally, they check their spelling by either removing their hand or the piece of paper. This process can be repeated until children have successfully learnt the spelling. Click here to download a FREE Look, Say, Cover, Write Template.

FREE 100 High Frequency Words Flashcards


FREE 200 High Frequency Words Flashcards


FREE Tricky Words Flash Cards Pack