Practice and review the Dolch Pre-Primer List of high-frequency words with 40 short phrase cards for emergent readers.
What are Pyramid Sentences?
Pyramid Sentences are a formula for building reading fluency.
Going step by step, adding one word at a time to a sentence builds reading confidence by working slowly and methodically—instead of being bombarded with a series of sounds for students to decode all at once.
For example, a pyramid card for the sight word “A” might look like this:
A family went
A family went to
A family went to the store.
The sequence allows for the repetition of the sight word “A” while giving students a way to progress through each word until they complete the entire sentence.
Review Dolch Pre-Primer Sight Words with Pyramid Sentences
Our Pyramid Reading Cards present each of the Pre-Primer Dolch sight words, arranged for readers at the Pre-K and Kindergarten levels.
Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided reading activity, or a whole class exercise (see below).
Students will read 40 high-frequency words in the pyramid sentence format, building up piece by piece to decode simple sentences. Students can read the individual words in a sequence or focus specifically on the high-frequency word in the text.
Scaffolding and Extension Tips + More Activities with Pyramid Sentences
Challenge students who already understand the concept by shuffling the cards for a randomized reading approach or by covering the picture so they have no support.
Support students who need help understanding the concepts through targeted CVC/CVCe decoding by helping students break the words into sound parts with different colors.
You can also slip the cards into dry-erase sleeves and provide students with erasable markers to draw on the cards. They can underline the high-frequency word and the rest of the words as they read them and draw a star when they read the passage in full.
Use this resource as independent practice for fast finishers, and full-class learning opportunities like lesson reviews, formative assessments, and more.
Gallery Walk (Scoot Activity)
Mix up the cards and hang all 26 around the room to have your students complete a gallery walk. Working either alone or in pairs, assign a task card to each and have them rotate around the cards (on your signal “Scoot!”) to identify the sight words until they have completed each one.
Big Board Game
This game works best with your reading small group. Lay all the pieces out in one long line as if it were a human-sized board game. Divide students into 2 teams. Players take turns rolling a die and moving that number of spaces (the cards). When they land on a card, the student must identify the sight word on the card. If they are unable to provide an answer, they go back to their earlier position on the board.
During small group instruction, create a grid of 5 cards on top of a table and give each student a fly swatter. Read the sight word of one of the visible letter cards and have the students swat the card you read. The first student to swat it correctly sets the card aside in their own pile to keep score. The student with the most cards wins.
Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students
Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access.
Keep the task cards out of pockets or under desks: cut out the cards and punch a hole in the corner of each to place them on a binder ring.
To turn this teaching resource into a sustainable activity, print a few recording sheets on cardstock and slip them into dry-erase sleeves. Students can write on the cards with a dry-erase marker if needed.
Before You Download
Use the drop-down icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource.
This resource was created by Elise Trudel Cedeno, a teacher in Massachusetts and a Teach Starter Collaborator.
Explore more pre-primer sight word activities like these, designed to help you cut down on valuable lesson planning time:
Common Core Curriculum alignment
Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.1 (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
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