Fry’s First 100 Words

I recently provided you all with some of the Dolch sight words and some activities to go along with the Dolch list. But, actually, there is more than one frequently used list of sight words. Another one is called Fry’s First 100 Words.

You may recognize some of this list as part of the Priddy Book series. Both of my sons loved those books as little ones. What I like about those books for sight words is that they use actual photos, not drawings.

fry words printable PDF

If your child needs direct language and cannot make inferences, you may wish to consider adding a Priddy book to the assortment of activities.

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Still, drawings are good. And, the Fry Words PDF I have in this post adds multisensory learning to the sight words. It can be hard to add multisensory learning to a book.

Difference Between Fry Words and Dolch Sight Words

Both the Dolch and Fry word lists were developed based on the most frequently-occurring words in the English language at that time. The Dolch list is made up of 220 words and contains no nouns unless they can be used as another part of speech.

The Fry list contains 1,000 words and includes all parts of speech. The Fry list was updated in 1980 to add words from a more recent word frequency count. To my knowledge, the Dolch list was never updated to include current words.

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.

It’s important to note that both Dolch and Fry were active in their careers in the early to mid parts of the 1900s. We know now that memorizing sight words is not an effective teaching strategy for everyone.

By sharing both sight word activities, I am not implying as much either. I am providing them so that parents have something to work on at home if they desire. And, our kids often have to be exposed to content multiple times in multiple formats in multiple settings. I am providing these so that you have another option for repetition.

Fry Sight Words

The Fry Sight Words list is a more modern list of words than the Dolch list. Fry Word List contains the most common 1000 words. Fry developed the initial list in the 1950s and updated it in 1980 based on the most common words to appear in reading materials used in Grades 3-9.

Fry Third 100 words

If a child were to learn all 1000 words in the Fry list, they could read about 90% of the words in a typical book or website. They are broken down into groups of 100 because his teaching philosophy included focusing on a few words at a time until a student memorized the entire list.

The worksheets I am providing is the third set of 100 Fry Words.

Beyond Memorizing Sight Words

Many of our kids lack memorization skills. Or, struggle with it. Still, there is a lot to do here besides memorize. There is a dot activity on each worksheet. Each sight word also has an Elkonin box which many teachers use for teaching dyslexic students.

Coloring, handwriting, dots…these worksheets have it all.

Here you go–download, sort and print!

Raise a Reader!

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  14. Dolch Sight Words: Free PDF Lists and Worksheets
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  16. Is Your 3rd Grader Struggling? It’s Probably the Matthew Effect in Reading.
  17. Fry’s First 100 Words | PDF | Printable
  18. What is a Frayer Model? | Example | Blank Template
  19. Elkonin Boxes for Dyslexia | Phonemic Awareness | Examples | PDF

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