Dolch High-Frequency Word Cloze Activities

Practice with high-frequency lists to build strong reading skills

For young students, learning to recognize common words is an important step in developing reading skills. Dolch words—a set of high-frequency words that are vital for young students to learn—represent a good place to start teaching sight vocabulary. The word lists were developed by Edward W. Dolch, a professor at the University of Illinois from 1919 to 1940, who compiled terms that appeared most often in print.

Reading includes not only the ability to decode phonics, but also a large sight vocabulary, including words that are irregular, and cannot be decoded. Free printable worksheets can help students master Dolch site words.

Pre-Primer Cloze Activities

Pre-primer Dolch cloze worksheets. Websterlearning

Print the PDFs: Pre-Primer Cloze Activities

The first set of high-frequency words are those you will teach to your beginning readers. These cloze activities—instructional strategies where students fill in the blanks or circle the correct word or answer—use pictures to help emerging readers recognize nouns they may not know and help them complete these pages independently.

At this level, the worksheets only require beginners to circle the best of the three words in parentheses (the cloze) since these early readers may also be developing fine motor skills.

Primer Cloze Activities

Dolch primer cloze worksheets. Websterlearning

Print the PDFs: Primer Cloze Activity

As your readers gain sight vocabulary, they also begin to acquire the ability to shape and write their letters. This primer cloze activity no longer uses pictures, though the nouns are high-frequency words from the Dolch noun list or are easily decodable terms, such as cat or hat. This worksheet was designed so your emerging readers can work independently as they practice reading high-frequency words.

First Grade Cloze Activities

Dolch First Grade high frequency cloze activities. Websterlearning

These free printables present cloze activities for the Dolch high-frequency first grade words. As sentences are added, the words from earlier levels will show up often in these sentences, with the belief that your students have mastered each preceding set of words. If that's not the case, identify the words they need to work on and try a variety of multisensory approaches to learning the words, such as pudding writing.

Second Grade Cloze Activities

A Dolch cloze activity for the second grade. Websterlearning

As your students proceed into second grade Dolch high-frequency words, they should have mastered the earlier levels. These printables include words that are either not on earlier lists or are not easy to recognize using phonetic decoding skills. Your students should be able to do these exercises independently by this point. If not, review the previous worksheets with them.

Third Grade Cloze Activities

A third grade cloze activity for Dolch High Frequency Words. Websterlearning

There are fewer Dolch sentences in this set, and therefore fewer worksheets. By the time that your students have reached this level, hopefully, they should have acquired strong context and phonetic decoding skills to help them read for meaning independently. For students who are struggling to recognize the words, review terms from the previous printables as needed.