High Frequency Word List

One Secret to Success*

from The Diary of a First Grade Teacher

High Frequency Word Lists contain the most commonly used English words found in print! Do you know that only 24 words make up about one-third of all published work?

That's why elementary school teachers AND textbook publishers use these 24 words often. They use them for one main reason … To help your child succeed in learning to read. Makes sense, huh?

If your child knew these words, do you think that would help them become a better reader?

You bet it would!

So I'd like to share these 24 words - AND OTHERS - with you. They are one secret to success. These lists will help you help your child learn to read - better and faster.

One Powerful Reading Word List

Do you know that approximately one half of ALL printed material consists of just 100 words? That’s exciting news … if you’re a beginning reader!

You can find the words here at First Grade Vocabulary. Researched and created by Dr. Edward B. Fry, they are, of course, the first 100 words he listed!

And Dr. Fry made it easy for you to use. The words are listed in order of frequency of use. That is, the words found at the top of the list are words more commonly published than the words farther down on the list.

*High Frequency Words

School students who are successful in academics are almost always good readers. Often, they are early readers with a verbal command of the English language. But how? How do they do it?

While MANY factors play important roles, I can guarantee the child is exposed to vocabulary and reading at an early age. Without a doubt, these children have discovered and learned the words that appear most often in reading.

Could learning the high frequency word list be one of their secrets to success? What do you think?

First Things First

Let’s start at the beginning ...

When your child’s teacher sends home a list of vocabulary words, you should help your child learn those words first, of course.

The words your child brings home will be labeled as spelling or vocabulary.

If they’re vocabulary words, the first thing to do is to make a flashcard for each word. See First Grade Vocabulary for my tips on how to make flashcards.

After he has learned the words the teacher sent home, start here …

What You Can Do

You don’t want to frustrate your child, so please consider the following suggestions:

  • Visit First Grade Vocabulary to print a copy of the first 100 high frequency word list.
  • Divide the first group of 100 words into groups of ten.
  • Next, make a flashcard for each of the ten words.
  • Have fun helping your child memorize the first ten words.
  • Then, make flashcards for the second set of ten words – found in the first 100.
  • Continue in this way until he knows all of the first 100 high frequency words.
  • At last – now that he knows all of the first 100 - allow him to watch (often) the first video - found below - to review the words this way.
This should be easy and fun for him. Never frustrating.

But there’s one SURE way to ruin this approach … by pushing too hard. PLEASE don’t be guilty of this.

Make one of your goals be to give your child confidence. Help him develop a LOVE for learning … It’s ALL in your approach.

Be patient. Follow these steps with the other two videos on this page – WHENEVER he’s ready. Please note that he may not be ready for the third set of words and the third video until the summer after first grade!

In the end, the more words he knows, the better he’ll read. The easier it is for him to read, the more he’ll enjoy it. The more he enjoys reading, the more he’ll want to read. It’s a never ending cycle – one that you want your child to ride.

Soon, your child’s reading level will improve. And – best of all – he’ll feel better about himself.

The following videos are a quick way to help your child REVIEW the high frequency words AFTER he has learned them with the help of flashcards.

First 100 High Frequency Words

Second 100 High Frequency Words

Third 100 High Frequency Words


Return from High Frequency Word List to First Grade Skills.

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