Fry words are the most common words used for teaching reading, writing, and spelling. They are considered high frequency words and they should be recognized instantly by readers in order for them to be fluent readers. Many times fry words are practiced in lower grades of school to start building children’s vocabulary. Many of the fry words are also words that are hard to sound out with phonics methods and are also hard to portray with pictures. Due to this they really need to just be memorized.
I have started my 3 1/2 year old daughter with just 12 of the fry words. We started slowly only about 3 words and once she mastered them I added a few new words to the mix and she is now up to 12. We only spend about 5 minutes a day practicing them and I have been very surprised at how fast she picked them up. Not only that but we also talk about how to use the words. For example he, once she memorized it we talked about who we know that would be considered a he. She can now tell me her brother, her dad, her fish, and many other people are boys. The other great thing is now when we read a book I can stop on the words that she knows and she can help me read the story which is the beginning of reading.
I have included links to the printable fry word lists. They have 100 words per list and the First 100 should be mastered by the end of first grade. The second 100 should be mastered by the end of second grade. The third list by the end of third grade. The rest of the lists should be mastered in fourth and fifth grade. There is also a Nouns list that has colored pictures so that they can have a clue to what the word is. That list can either be used as a matching game or bound with the word on one side and the picture on the other for a hint while practicing.
I included a link to all the fry word lists so that if you have older children you will be able to practice with them as well. Enjoy and happy reading!