Word Recognition

By Jenna Coalson


Word recognition requires the student to instantly recognize a large bank of words and effortlessly analyze the unknown words (Smith, 2005).


Word Recognition includes recognizing words without conscious attention or attending to every word, using parts of words to identify new words, connecting unknown words to known words, as well as connecting spelling with word meaning (Pinnell and Fountas, 2007). When students can easily recognize words, they can begin reading harder texts and gaining a broader vocabulary.

Students should not be merely memorizing words or sounds. They should be using "visual information for print and graphics; [putting] together information to gain the literal meaning of the text, and remembering it while reading (Pinnell, 2006, p.79).

Word Recognition Activities

This site gives a strategic plan of action for teaching a student word recognition. Each activity grows in difficulty.

Go Fish

This site has many games that will slowly familiarize students with site words. The "go fish" word recognition could be very useful in a classroom setting.
Article with extended explanation

This article reviews previously covered material i.e. phonemic awareness, as well as explaining word recognition and its role with other dimensions of literacy.

Build a word

This game allows students to become more familiar with their sight words. They can either find the letters individually, then try to find the word altogether, or vice versa. This is a hands on way to actively learn sight words.