It’s one of the first words your child needs to read: the. Use these sight word the worksheets to make learning this word easy and interactive.
When children begin to read sentences, they need to know this word:
And it’s not really an easy word for an early reader. Fortunately, you can teach it to your child or students in a way that will stick.
These sight word the worksheets help make the word stick.
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Sight Word The Worksheets
You can grab these three free worksheets for the sight word “the:”
- Mapping “the” worksheet
- Writing the worksheet
- Dot the worksheet
These worksheets are for your personal home use or individual classroom use only. You may not post them anywhere online, resell them, widely distribute them across a whole school, or anything else sketchy. Thank you for your kindness and respect.
Please send people back to this page if you want to share the worksheets.
Sight Words Vs. High-Frequency Words
When people say sight words, they generally mean high-frequency words.
In reality, a sight word is ANY word you can read instantly. If you can read establishment and disembark without sounding them out, those are sight words for you.
Your brain used a process called orthographic mapping to connect the sounds to letters.
High-frequency words are those little functional words that are essential in sentences like:
I still call them sight words because that seems to make the most sense to my students and their parents. But just know that every word has the capacity to be a sight word.
Can you sound out the word the?
Here’s the truth: at least 60% of sight words, or high-frequency words, are completely decodable with phonics. This means your child doesn’t need to memorize them.
It’s way more efficient to spend time teaching letter sounds and letting them practice blending words than to memorize those words.
But even the word “the” can be sounded out!
- th spells the voiced /th/ sound spelled with digraph th
- e spells the /uh/ sound commonly called schwa
The problem is this:
- most teachers and parents didn’t get taught enough about English to know this.
- children need to learn “the” before digraphs and schwa are normally taught.
But you can still introduce these ideas to your child so they understand that words can be sounded out, or decoded.
Which Sight Words Should I teach First?
That depends! There is not a lot of research about teaching sight words in any particular order. Instead, there are theories and various programs.
Personally, I want my kindergarten reading students to read decodable texts as soon as possible. In order to do that, they need to learn a handful of sounds and some sight words.
Reading Rockets states that about 10-15 sight words should taught prior to phonics instruction. However, I teach them alongside phonics and help my students learn the decodable parts.
The words I recommend be taught early and reviewed often are:
Mapping the Sight Word The Worksheet
This worksheet is very helpful for teaching your child about the sounds in the word “the.”
It promotes a process called orthographic mapping. Instead of memorizing, your child’s brain is connecting speech sounds to print. It truly is the brain-based way to read.
These important steps are not on the worksheet:
- Say the word “the” aloud for your child or student to hear.
- Ask them to repeat the word.
It is critical your child says and hears the word. Do not overlook this step.
Then you follow the steps on the worksheet:
- Count the sounds
- Map the letters that spell the sounds
- Spell the word twice
- Read the word
Count the sounds
After you have said the word “the” aloud, you will count the sounds. The has two sounds: /th/ and /uh/.
You instruct your child to color in two thumbs. Then they can point to each thumb and repeat the sounds /th/ and /uh/.
Map the letters
Next, you will map the letters that spell those sounds in the boxes. I like to color code at this point with a red, yellow, and green crayon or marker.
On a worksheet, a whiteboard, or a scrap of paper, model the mapping for your child.
In the first box, write the spelling th for the /th/ sound. You can color code it green because this is a typical spelling.
Your child probably hasn’t learned it yet. So explain that th spells the /th/ sound.
In the second box, write the spelling e for the /uh/ sound. You can color code with a red crayon.
The schwa sound is the most common vowel sound in English! It’s a lazy /uh/ or /ih/ and usually is in a multi-syllable word. You can tell your child this is the part they will need to remember since it isn’t a normal spelling.
Write the word
After that, your child will spell or write the word on the two sets of lines.
You might think, “My child already wrote the letters, why do they need to rewrite it?”
Writing it together as a whole word is one more way to solidify it in permanent memory. Plus, your child needs to see the letters together.
Read the word
Finally, make sure your child reads the word. Again, you might think, “What’s the point?”
Every opportunity they have to connect the sounds to the letters at this point is important.
Reading it gives them the chance to map the word in their memory so they can retrieve it instantly.
Color Coding Sight Word
I am a huge proponent of color-coding sight words. Color coding is an evidence-based strategy for aiding memory. I think it helps recall the easy and hard parts more quickly.
When color coding, I used red, green, and yellow. Children can all associate with the stoplight colors:
- Green means go
- Yellow means slow down
- Red means stop.
In sight words, I say:
- Green is a completely typical spelling for the sound,
- Yellow is for more advanced spellings my child or students haven’t learned yet, and
- Red is for unexpected and irregular spellings for the sound
As I mentioned above, the is two sounds:
- /th/ spelled th
- /uh/ spelled e
You can color-code the word the sound-spellings
- Green for th because it is typical for /th/
- Red for e because it’s unexpected for /uh/
Spelling Sight Words Worksheet
After mapping a word, it’s good to give children a lot of practice applying how to write the word.
This sight word worksheet allows your child to:
- color code the word
- trace the word
- write the word
- fill-in-the blanks to sentences
- write their own sentence
Writing the word in context improves recall. Our brains need to connect letters to sounds, and then the word to meaning. So using context helps with this piece.
Sight Word The Reading Worksheet
Along with writing the sight word the, I want my children and students to have to practice reading it.
In this Dot the Sight Word Worksheet, your child:
- Color codes the word the
- Reads the words in the circles
- Dabs the circles with “the” with a Do-a-Dot Markers
Supplies for Sight Word Worksheets
You only need a few supplies for these worksheets, and you probably already have them at home!
Looking for an affordable way to print? HP Instant Ink is the way to go. Use my link for 3 free months.
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Sight Word the Worksheets
Make sure to download these free worksheets today. Your child and you will be reading and spelling the word the in no time.
More Sight Word Worksheets
All of the worksheets in this free sight word download are samples from a variety of sight word printables in the Printable Parents’ Shop.
Mapping Sight Words Worksheets
This bundle of worksheets includes sight words with short vowels like has and his and words with digraphs like what and them. Like demonstrated above, your child will map, color code, read and write the sights words on these interactive worksheets.
It includes 78 words with over 120 pages of practice. Grab Mapping the Sight Words here or find it on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Read, Spell, and Write Sight Words Worksheets
This comprehensive resource will get your child reading, writing, and spelling their sight words. It includes all 220 of the Dolch sight word list.
Like modeled above, children will:
- Read and color code a word
- Trace the word
- Spell it on the lines
- Complete two sentences using the words
- Create a sentence of their own.
It has 343 pages of skill-building for your young reader and writer. Get Read, Spell, and Write the Sight Words in the shop.
Dab and Dot the Sight Words
This resource is a steal for what you get. All 220 of the Dolch sight words are broken into 11 lists of 20 words. You can bind them with an optional cover to make a little workbook for your child.
You can use Do-A-Dot Markers to dab the circles or just color with crayons or markers. Make sure to color code the bubble lights like demonstrated above.
Grab Dot the Sight Words here or on Teachers Pay Teachers.