Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Sight words or sight vocabulary are defined as easily recognized words may be understood outside of a block of text. Many reading programs in the United States focus on the “drill and kill” method of instruction, often using flash cards to practice identification and spelling in order to increase reading fluency. This study examines the effect of teaching sight words within a gaming environment, as well as its impact on memorization and retention of sight vocabulary. For eight weeks the researcher conducted this research in a 1st grade classroom in an upstate New York urban school district. Subjects consisted of 26 students in a single class. The researcher gathered baseline data using DRA pre-tests and one-on-one timed reading assessments to measure students’ fluency. Two days per week, students were divided into four heterogeneous groups of six to seven students. Students would then circulate through different game stations around the room during two half-hour blocks, for a total of one hour each day. Students encountered six new words each week during their game rotations. Results note short-term gains in sight word recognition and retention, as well as an increase in student motivation and engagement. Possibilities for further research include long-term effects of a game-based program. Appendices include the original sight word games developed for the study.


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