How to use Picture Me Reading Dolch Word Cards

Picture Me Reading Instructions for use-


Please follow the instructions for teaching Picture Me Reading sight words very carefully! *


1. Introduce the word before you show the child(ren) the word card. For example, “We are going to learn the word ‘jump’. Do you like to jump? What do you like to jump on? Can you make your fingers jump on the table?”


2. Now show the pictogram side of the Picture Me Reading (PMR) card and read the sentence on the back. i.e. “This is the word "jump".  Can you see the boy jump in the water? See "p" jump into the water on a hot summer day.”


3. Ask the child(ren) to use the word "jump".  They may take turns holding the "jump" card and making a sentence with the word "jump". Model this if needed. i.e. “I can jump up high in the air.” 


This step allows the child to see the word as part of speech, not just a random group of symbols.  It also gives the child a personal connection with the word, making it more meaningful to her, thus helping her to master it more quickly.


4. Turn the card over and say, “This is what the word "jump" looks like without the picture.”  Then turn the card back to the pictogram side.


5. Point out the first sound in the word. i.e. “Jump begins with the sound /j/. Can you think of another word that starts with "jay" or /j/”.  You could ask the child(ren) to put the word on a “word wall” under the letter "j", or older children could put a small version of the word into a personal dictionary.


This step allows you to introduce phonics in conjunction with the sight words.  It also helps the child(ren) develop word attack skills, always looking to the left for the first sound in the word.


6. Next, introduce the word "I" using the above steps.  Now you can make the sentence, “I jump!”


7. After "I", teach the word "can" using the same steps as above.  Now the child(ren) can read the sentences “I can jump.” and “Can I jump?”  (You might even like to introduce punctuation at this point.)


8. Give the child(ren) many opportunities to see and read the new word(s) throughout the day.  The key to mastery of any word is repetition.  It is only by seeing a word and hearing it read correctly over and over again that the child commits the word to memory.

Make games with the words, send them home for practice, and help the children to “own” the words. (The small cards are like playing cards to the children, and they can’t wait to get the next card to take home!)   



*It is very important that the children do not see the word or picture first and guess at the word.  If they guess an incorrect word, that word will be remembered, and it can be very difficult to teach the correct word subsequently.


*Please don’t ever ask the child(ren) to "sound out" the words.  If they aren’t sure of a word, just say the word to them.   Many of the Dolch words are phonetically irregular, hence the importance of mastering them as sight words.  Because of the frequency of appearance of these words in children’s reading material, their comprehension will improve dramatically if they are not trying to decode these “service words” every time. 

Download the instructions here

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