The youngest students begin their quest for successful reading by learning the alphabet, but they soon go down a path that requires more from them. Sight words are a series of letters grouped together to form words students should know and easily recognize. Learning sight words is about familiarization, but it is also a path toward making it easier to read more advanced material. By the time a student graduates, they should know thousands of sight words.
Young students are given relatively easy sight words to learn, and many educators start with three letter words. Cat, hat, sat, mat, fat are all common in that they end in at with each one beginning with a different letter. Learning these words will not necessarily create a love of reading, but learning how to quickly add that first letter to the last two will give them a boost of speed and comprehension as they progress in their studies. It is not necessarily a short cut to learning, but it has become a way to enhance a student’s ability to learn reading faster.
Successfully mastering sight words with three letters leads to longer words, and students often find whole stories can be written using the words they have learned. It can provide them with a reason to study harder, but it also functions as a way to help them understand reading may not always be a difficult process. Sight words they learn as they progress will get longer, but their ability to read without sounding out each word will eventually make the process smoother.
By the time a student graduates from schooling, they will have learned many sight words. Those they study at the beginning of their schooling are simple, and they often have common letters to make them easier to read. As a student is expected to read more and more, the sight words they learn may have nothing in common, but they will become familiar through constant usage.