| | | |

Free High-Frequency Words Game with Dolch Primer Words

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure policy.

Use this free high-frequency words flashcards game to engage students in a fun activity while they learn to use high-frequency words within context. The printable pdf game includes 18 words from the Dolch Primer Sight Word List, both decodable and irregular words. Just print, cut, and play!

Purple background with the game pieces showing the Dolch sight words and sentences.

📝 High-Frequency Word Practice

Research shows that repeated exposure to seeing and using high-frequency words within text is necessary for the words to transfer to reading and writing.

Using orthographic mapping, along with authentic experiences reading and re-reading these words within context, helps to develop automaticity.

In this free printable game, children are tasked with higher-level thinking skills. It requires children to go beyond reading words in isolation.

They must focus on the meaning and structure of the sentence in order to correctly identify the correct high-frequency word (HFW).

👉 Children are not only reading high-frequency words, but they must figure out how the words are used within context.

Words usually provide clues as to the meaning of the sentence, and this activity is perfect to help kids understand this important reading skill.

For even more practice, get our free High Frequency Word Poem printables!

Student's hands holding the Dolch Word and sentence with game displayed in the background.

Important: This activity should be used AFTER children have been explicitly taught these words using orthographic mapping and decoding skills.

Some of these words are decodable, while others are irregular and considered heart words.

This is a game to reinforce high-frequency words for intentional and targeted practice.

Using the Activity

This is a great game to play with your child or with an entire reading group!

The game uses the 18 words from the Dolch Sight Word Primer List:

  • went
  • now
  • new
  • are
  • ate
  • came
  • pretty
  • please
  • all
  • under
  • want
  • our
  • eat
  • must
  • out
  • good
  • what
  • have

For each word, you get a card with the word written below a rainbow and a matching fill-in-the-blank sentence cards. The sentences each include ONE word that would fit and make sense.

Children must identify the word that makes sense in the sentence and match the cards together, reading the completed sentence fluently.

Photo of 3 students playing the Dolch sight word game.

How To Play

👉 This game is played in a similar matching style to the classic game Memory!
👉 Remember, games are used to reinforce and practice skills, not to learn new concepts.

To play:

  1. Distribute the sentence cards evenly among the players. Each player should have a small pile of sentence cards.
  2. Lay the word cards in the center of the table, face down.
  3. Students take turns flipping over 1 word card and reading the word aloud.
  4. They then read the sentence on the top of the pile, filling in the blank space with the word they chose.
  5. If the word makes sense in the sentence, then it’s a match. The child can keep the pair. If it does not make sense, place the word back in the same spot.
  6. Once a match is made, students place the two cards together and put them off to the side. They continue the game with a new sentence card from their pile.
  7. Whoever gets all of their sentence cards matched up first is the winner!

Expert Tips & Info

These sight word cards & sentences are great for first and second-grade students, or any students working to learn to read High Frequency Words quickly and automatically.

This printable is great for seat work, small-group activities, partner play, playing games, take-home practice, and more.

Extension Idea: To challenge students, try using this game as a spelling game. Give kids copies of the sentence cards and dictate the words to them to write directly on the sentence cards.

If your students need more practice with spelling, grab our FREE spell-out-loud board game and FREE spelling tic-tac-toe board.

To print and organize the game:

  1. Print single-sided and cut out all the cards.
  2. Separate the rainbow word cards from the sentence cards.
  3. Use a clip or rubber band to organize and use a ziplock bag to store. We suggest laminating cards so they hold up for repeated practice.
Grab all 3 game sets, complete with 52 Primer Dolch Words!

More Dolch Words Practice

If you’re loving this game and looking for more words, look no further! We have compiled the rest of the 33 Primer Dolch words for more practice!

Get 33 more when you buy our full pack of word cards and sentences! We’ve divided them up into 3 sets, with 15-18 words in each set.

  • Set 1 (download free below!) includes the Dolch sight words: went, now, new, are, ate, came, pretty, please, all, under, want, our, eat, must, out, good, what, have.
  • Set 2 includes the Dolch sight words: am, at, black, brown, but, did, do, four, get, he, into, like, no, this, ran, ride, saw, say.
  • Set 3 includes the Dolch sight words: she, so, soon, that, who, yes, there, was, white, will, too, with, they, on, well, be.

Related Resources

Download & Print

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Please do not save our files to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!

We’d love to hear about your experience using this game.
Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.


  1. I teach 3 special ed second graders and I love all the games and resources you provide. It is a great help and it makes learning so much fun. Thank you!

    1. R.G.,
      It makes us so happy to hear that our resources are helpful for you and working for your students! We LOVE making learning fun!
      Katie and Laura

  2. This looks like a great resource to use after teaching these high-frequency words. It doesn’t hurt that it’s cute, too!

    1. Megan,
      We love gamifying experiences to reinforce concepts! We hope you are able to use these over and over again with your students. Thank you for the encouraging feedback!
      Katie and Laura

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *