What do “The Cat in the Hat” and E.W. Dolch have in common? If you guessed sight words (Dolch Words) you are correct. Edward William Dolch, PhD, published the Dolch word list in his book “Problems in Reading” in 1948. He had researched children’s books to determine which words were most frequently used. He determined that there were 220 words that children should master in order for them to read fluently. Dolch eloquently stated, “A child’s language development is, next to his character, the most important part of his school experience.”
Dolch referred to his list of words as “service words” or “tools” because essentially they serve as a tool in learning to read, and they are included in all types of writing regardless of subject matter.
The 220 words include
- 6 conjunctions – used to join clauses,
- 16 prepositions – used to introduce phrases,
- 26 pronouns – used to represent person or things,
- 34 adverbs – used to modify verbs,
- 46 adjectives – used to modify nouns, and
- 92 verbs – used to denote action.
Nouns were deliberately left out of this list. They comprise a 95 count separate word list.
Dolch penned many books (a total of 70 works). You can read a list of them here.