Originally Posted 07/31/2013; Updated 10/07/2021
In Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss, he describes one of the places you may end up as "the Waiting Place" where people are waiting for all sorts of things to happen. He mentions "waiting for the fish to bite." I love fishing and there is often lots of waiting. And then some more waiting. And then hopefully I catch a fish. Here's hoping! Anyway, a fun little fishing game can be played to work on sight words.
Here are two ideas:
First, use a spring loaded curtain rod with a short curtain or piece of cloth on it (this set up could also be used for a puppet show, so it's a good and inexpensive investment!). Take a stick or a simple fishing rod from the dollar store (you could even use a real rod and reel, but I know not everyone has those) and attach a paperclip to it. Then print out the fish sight word pages (here, here, here or here) and cut them out. Have your child stand on one side of the curtain and "cast" over the curtain. You can practice waiting or you can just attach one of the fish to the magnet and give a soft tug. Your child reels in his catch and reads his fish. If he reads it correctly, let him keep it. If not, review the word and toss it back (catch and release!). Play until he has all of the fish.
The second way (and what I usually do with kiddos when we are "fishing" in therapy) is I sprinkle the fish on the floor near a sturdy table and let the child sit on the table. This could also be done off the side of a couch. Just make sure to stay near your child for safety.
Have your child catch fish by gently swaying the paperclip over the fish until the paperclip lands on one. You can attach the fish to the paperclip. Then the process is the same as above. Your child reels in his catch and reads his fish. If he reads it correctly, let him keep it. If not, review the word and toss it back (catch and release!). Play until he has all of the fish. Like this:
We had a great time playing even though she modified the rules a little! It was catch and release no matter what :) Regardless of how you play, having fun while practicing is the real goal! Sight words help children read faster, improving their comprehension of the text they are reading.
Have fun fishing together! Here is the list of Sight Word Pages:
Pre-Primer Sight Word List
Primer Sight Word List
1st Grade Sight Word List
2nd Grade Sight Word List
As a side note, I used the blank fish at the beginning of the documents to work on some speech sounds in therapy yesterday. We fished off the couch and then hid them around the room for a "Finding Nemo" style game! There's lots you can do with these Sight Word Fish!