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High Frequency Words
High Frequency words
High Frequency Words are the most commonly used words that children will come across in their reading. Some of them are called ‘tricky words’.
How they can be used?
These cards can be used in many ways. Below are just some ideas:
1. The cards can be used as flashcards, checking knowledge of words that have already been learnt. Tricky words have a caption to aid recognition.
2. Play ‘popup guess the word’. Gradually slide a high frequency word from behind another piece of card, slowly exposing the word. See how much of the word is shown before it is recognised.
3. Sorting activities. Ask children to sort a selection of the cards, perhaps by number of letters and then read them out.
4. Play a matching game: print two sets of cards and match the pairs. (Don’t have too many cards out to begin with.) This can be done with the words showing, or more as a memory game, starting with the cards face down, then taking it in turns to turn over two cards. If they match, take them away and have another go. If not, turn them back over.
5. Memory game: lay a small number of cards on a table. Look at the cards for a while and say the words. Ask the child to close their eyes while you remove one card. See if the child can say which card was removed.
6. Hide some cards around the room. Ask the child to find a specific word. Swap places and let them hide the words.
7. Cut out the cards and make a small book to read and practice the words.
8. The checklists can be used to confirm that the child can read and spell the words.
There is some evidence from psychology studies that we use the shapes of words to recognise them. The shape of a word is made up of the ascending (tall letters), descending (letters that go under the line) and neutral (short) letters. This could be one of the reasons we find reading a sentence made up of capital letters harder to read, as each word has a rectangular shape.
Whilst this has never been properly substantiated, it is a good exercise for children to recognise and consider the shape of a word.
These worksheets look at the shapes made by the ‘tricky words’ from phases 2 to 5 of the Letters and Sounds programme.