Resources › For Educators What Are Fry Words? Learn how they compare to Dolch sight words Share Flipboard Email Print Weekend Images Inc. / Getty Images For Educators Elementary Education Reading Strategies Classroom Organization Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Secondary Education Special Education Teaching Homeschooling By Kris Bales Education Expert Kris Bales is a long-time homeschool parent. Since 2009 she has reviewed homeschool curricula for providers like Alpha Omega, Apologia, and All About Learning Press. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Kris Bales Updated July 12, 2019 The term "Fry words" refers to the list of 1,000 high-frequency words compiled by Dr. Edward Fry in 1957. The list was an improvement on the Dolch words list first published in 1936. Dolch Sight Words vs. Fry Words Both the Dolch and Fry word lists were developed based on the most frequently-occurring words in the English language. The Dolch list is made up of 220 words and contains no nouns unless they can be used as another part of speech. (Dolch created a separate list of 95 nouns.) The Fry list contains 1,000 words and includes all parts of speech. According to Readsters.com, both lists were based on secondary sources, but the Fry list was updated in 1980 to add words from a more recent word frequency count. The Fry words list is based on the "American Heritage Word Frequency Book", whose 87,000 words are ranked by the frequency in which they occur in reading material for grade 3 to 9. Dolch sight words are based on high-frequency words that students in kindergarten through second grade typically would be reading. They are listed by age group, whereas the first 300 Fry words are listed by order of frequency. They are broken down into groups of 100 because Fry advocated focusing on a few words at a time until a student memorized the entire list. How Can These Lists Be Used? Both the Dolch and Fry lists are based on whole word reading. However, a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in 2000, indicates that beginning and struggling readers see stronger outcomes when they are taught to decode words using phonics. A recommended approach is combining explicit phonics instruction with either the Dolch or Fry list of sight words. This combination helps children build fluency quickly by providing a base of words they recognize on sight along with a method for decoding unfamiliar words. When Should Fry Words Be Taught? In a traditional school setting, Fry words are often taught as early as kindergarten. Once children are familiar with the alphabet and letter sounds, you can begin introducing Fry words. Start with only five to ten words. Once a student masters that list, add five to 10 more, but continue to review the previously mastered words. Generally, children are expected to master 20 sight or high-frequency words by the end of kindergarten and 100 by the end of first grade. In a homeschool setting, let your child's developmental readiness be your guide. Some children are curious, eager learners who are ready to start learning high-frequency words as early as three-years-old. Others may not be ready until first or second grade or even later. For young children, you may wish to start with only a couple of words at a time, building up to the five- to ten-word range. Let your child's progress guide you. Move at a pace which allows your student to master the words without frustration successfully. Ideally, sight words and high-frequency words should be taught as a supplement to phonics instruction. First 100 Fry Words The first 100 Fry words are ideally suited for students in kindergarten and first grade. The words are listed alphabetically below, rather than in order of frequency. They can be taught in any order. For younger students, it's recommended to start with short words that appear frequently in the text your students are reading, such as a, the, an, can, is, of, you, he, and I. a about all an and are as at be been but by called can come could day did do down each find first for from get go had has have he her him his how I if in into is it like long look made make many may more my no not now number of oil on one or other out part people said see she sit so some than that the their them then there these they this time to two up use was water way we were what when which who will with words would write you your Second 100 Fry Words Both the second and third 100 Fry words are recommended for students in second to third grades. Again, it is helpful to teach the words in conjunction with those that appear frequently in the texts that your students are reading. after again air also America animal another answer any around ask away back because before big boy came change different does end even follow form found give good great hand help here home house just kind know land large learn letter line little live man me means men most mother move much must name need new off old only our over page picture place play point put read right same say sentence set should show small sound spell still study such take tell things think three through too try turn us very want well when where why work world years Third 100 Fry Words Once the second 100 Fry words are mastered, children can move on to the third batch of 100. Again, continue teaching the words in groups of five to ten, and move on as each group is mastered. above add almost along always began begin being below between book both car carry children city close country cut don't earth eat enough every example eyes face family far father feet few food four girl got group grow hard head hear high idea important Indian it's keep last late leave left let life light list might mile miss mountains near never next night often once open on paper plant real river run saw school sea second seem side something sometimes song soon start state stop story talk those thought together took tree under until walk watch while white without young Tips for Teaching Fry Words Help your children master the Fry words quickly and easily by making learning fun and keeping them engaged. Try some of the following activities. Concentration: Make two identical sets of cards for the words your student is learning. Mix the cards and place them face down one at a time in even rows. Two or more students can play together, taking turns flipping over two cards each turn. They must read aloud the words they turn over. If the words match, the student gets to keep that pair and take another turn. If not, play passes to the next student. After all the matches have been made, the child with the most pairs wins. Go Fish. Again, start with two matching sets of word cards mixed together. Deal three to five cards to each player, depending on how many are in the set. Students take turns calling out one word in their hand and asking one other player if he has the match. If the student gets a match, he gets another turn. If not, play passes to the next player. After all the word cards have been matched, the student with the most pairs wins. Bingo. Create bingo cards with both mastered words and new words placed randomly on the cards. As you call out words, the students should put a marker over the word if they find it on their card. The first student to achieve a bingo with five words in a row, vertically or horizontally, wins the game. Use These Printable Checklists for Each Dolch Grade Level 12 Worksheets for Dolch High-Frequency Words Dolch High Frequency Word Cloze Activities 5 Sets of Worksheets for Dolch High Frequency Words 10 Tips to Improve Kindergarten Reading Comprehension How Using Dolch Words Can Help With Learning Vocabulary Dolch Sight Words for Word Walls 6 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Differentiate Instruction No, It's Not an Animal: Find out About Lemmas These Are the Top German Words in Speaking and Writing Subitizing Cards Ideas for Your Classroom's Christmas and Winter Word List Thanksgiving Vocabulary Word List for Classroom Fun Literacy Strategies to Use in Lessons for Struggling Readers Halloween Word List for Classroom Fun How Does Subitizing Build Math Fluency?