100 High Frequency Words for Beginning Readers

Learning to read is a major milestone for young students. One key component is mastering high frequency words - the most common words that account for a large portion of written material. Focusing on these words helps build reading fluency and comprehension.

The following are 100 high frequency words that are useful for beginning readers:
List of words separated with comma

the, of, and, a, to, in, is, you, my, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, day, his, did, I, at, be, big, have, from, or, one, had, by, word, but, not, get, all, were, we, when, your, can, see, way, use, an, each, go, she, do, how, no, if, will, up, other, now, out, many, then, them, these, so, some, her, may, make, like, him, into, time, has, look, two, more, write, which, said, number, their, there, could, people, that, than, first, water, been, this, who, about, find, long, down, with, they, what, come, made, would, play, where, very

The same words but without comma (to help with copy - paste)

the of and a to in is you my it he was for on are as day his did I at be big have from or one had by word but not get all were we when your can see way use an each go she do how no if will up other now out many then them these so some her may make like him into time has look two more write which said number their there could people that than first water been this who about find long down with they what come made would play where very

In list order: 1 - 100

  • 1.
  • the
  • 2.
  • of
  • 3.
  • and
  • 4.
  • a
  • 5.
  • to
  • 6.
  • in
  • 7.
  • is
  • 8.
  • you
  • 9.
  • my
  • 10.
  • it
  • 11.
  • he
  • 12.
  • was
  • 13.
  • for
  • 14.
  • on
  • 15.
  • are
  • 16.
  • as
  • 17.
  • day
  • 18.
  • his
  • 19.
  • did
  • 20.
  • i
  • 21.
  • at
  • 22.
  • be
  • 23.
  • big
  • 24.
  • have
  • 25.
  • from
  • 26.
  • or
  • 27.
  • one
  • 28.
  • had
  • 29.
  • by
  • 30.
  • word
  • 31.
  • but
  • 32.
  • not
  • 33.
  • get
  • 34.
  • all
  • 35.
  • were
  • 36.
  • we
  • 37.
  • when
  • 38.
  • your
  • 39.
  • can
  • 40.
  • see
  • 41.
  • way
  • 42.
  • use
  • 43.
  • an
  • 44.
  • each
  • 45.
  • go
  • 46.
  • she
  • 47.
  • do
  • 48.
  • how
  • 49.
  • their
  • 50.
  • if
  • 51.
  • will
  • 52.
  • up
  • 53.
  • other
  • 54.
  • now
  • 55.
  • out
  • 56.
  • many
  • 57.
  • then
  • 58.
  • them
  • 59.
  • these
  • 60.
  • so
  • 61.
  • some
  • 62.
  • her
  • 63.
  • may
  • 64.
  • make
  • 65.
  • like
  • 66.
  • him
  • 67.
  • into
  • 68.
  • time
  • 69.
  • has
  • 70.
  • look
  • 71.
  • two
  • 72.
  • more
  • 73.
  • write
  • 74.
  • which
  • 75.
  • said
  • 76.
  • number
  • 77.
  • their
  • 78.
  • there
  • 79.
  • could
  • 80.
  • people
  • 81.
  • that
  • 82.
  • than
  • 83.
  • first
  • 84.
  • water
  • 85.
  • been
  • 86.
  • this
  • 87.
  • who
  • 88.
  • about
  • 89.
  • find
  • 90.
  • long
  • 91.
  • down
  • 92.
  • with
  • 93.
  • they
  • 94.
  • what
  • 95.
  • come
  • 96.
  • made
  • 97.
  • would
  • 98.
  • play
  • 99.
  • where
  • 100.
  • very

words appearing from a cartoon book in a library

Stories

Here is a story using many of the words from the list of 100 high frequency words, with each word in bold the first time it is used:

A Fun Day at School

words appearing from a cartoon book in a library

The boy was excited about school on this lovely sunny day.
He had so much fun with his friends and teacher.
First, they read a book.
His favorite was the pictures of the animals.
Then they did an art project.
She showed them how to make a picture with paint.
It was messy but fun!
After that, they went outside to play on the playground.
He went down the slide and up the ladder.
His friend went across the monkey bars.
At lunchtime, they had sandwiches and an apple.
He drank water from his bottle.
Some children traded their food.
In the afternoon, they learned about adding a number to another number.
The teacher used blocks to count.
One, two, then three blocks were on the table.
They could see how many there were.
After school, his mom came to get him.
He said, "I had a very good day! We did so many fun things. I can't wait to come back tomorrow!"

Here is another story using many of the high frequency words, this time with a more magical theme:

The Magical School Bus
words appearing from a cartoon book in a library

One day, the children were at school learning about plants.
Their teacher, Mrs. Green, said, "We will go on a field trip today!"
They got on the big yellow bus.
But this was no ordinary bus!
It could shrink down and go into the soil.
"Wow!" said the children as they looked at the tiny world under the ground.
They could see roots growing and worms wiggling.
"This is how plants get water and food from the soil," Mrs. Green explained.
Then the bus grew big again and flew up into the sky!
The children looked out the windows at the clouds.
"Up here is where the sun gives plants energy to grow," said the teacher.
After that, the bus turned into a submarine and went under the ocean.
A school of fish swam by as the children watched in amazement.
When they got back to school, the children were tired but happy.
What an exciting field trip it had been!
"I can't wait to see where we go next time!" one boy said to his friends.

Importance of High Frequency Words

High frequency words make up a large percentage of the words children encounter in their reading. Mastering these common "sight words" allows beginning readers to recognize words automatically without sounding them out. This frees up cognitive resources to focus on comprehension rather than decoding individual words. Explicitly teaching high frequency words in a systematic way is an effective strategy for building reading fluency and confidence in young learners. Incorporating these words into lessons, activities, and reading materials provides essential repetition and reinforcement.

Tips on teaching high Frequency words

Direct Instruction Strategies

Teach a small set of high frequency words at a time (3-5 words). Write the words on the board, model saying the word while running your finger under it, and have students repeat. Have students create word cards with the target words using colored markers/crayons. Students can then practice saying the word, spelling it aloud while pointing to each letter. Use the words frequently during read-alouds. Have students hold up their word card when they hear the word read. Provide texts with the high frequency words highlighted/circled. Students can read along as the text is read to them or independently.

Multisensory Activities

Have students skywrite the letters while saying the word, then air writing while spelling it.
Use arm tapping - students tap out each letter of the word on their arm while spelling it aloud.
Do table/floor writing by having students write the word looking at the card, then writing it again from memory.

Repetition and Reinforcement

Start each lesson by reviewing previously learned high frequency words using flashcards and the "see and say" method. Incorporate the new and review words into engaging games and activities to provide repeated exposure and practice. Encourage students to look for and identify the high frequency words in their reading materials.
The key is systematic, explicit instruction combined with multisensory methods and ample repetition through reading, writing, and play.

Mastering these common words builds fluency and confidence in beginning readers.

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