This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see my full disclosure policy.
Finding ways to integrate gross motor skills into your teaching is not only a fun way to engage your students, but it’s also an excellent way to help those students that struggle to retain new information and concepts.
Engaging the whole body really helps the material stick and this fishing for sight words activity is the perfect example!
Sight Word Fishing
Let’s face it.
We all know that drills and simple repetition are about as boring as it gets. For both the teacher and the student.
Nobody is going to be excited about practicing sight words with either flashcards or worksheets.
But when it comes to learning to read, excitement is necessary!
You need those kids to be excited about learning to read to retain what they’re learning, therefore, you need that same level of excitement for sight words.
That’s where this fishing for sight words activity comes in!
When you take away the worksheets and throw away the flashcards, when you get them up, moving, and engaging their whole bodies, the excitement will start pouring out of them!
Prepping the Sight Word Fishing Activity
Prepping this activity for your students is super easy and if you used our fishing for letters activity, this one works the same way!
Just print the fish that you’d like to use
Within this activity, you’ll find printable fish covering three different sight word lists:
- Dolch pre-primer
- Dolch primer
- Fry 1st 100
Choose the one that works best for you and your students, cut them out, and run them through your laminator.
This will not only keep them from ripping apart while fishing for them this time but will also make it possible for you to use them again and again!
Once all of your fish are laminated, you’ll need to make your fishing pole.
A long stick or wooden dowel rod works perfectly for this!
Just tie a string to one end and attach a magnet to the other end of the string using either tape or a hot glue gun.
When your fishing pole is ready, add a paperclip to each of your sight word fish to make them magnetic.
Going Fishing for Sight Words
This fishing for sight words activity can be used in a couple of different ways.
Both of which are a ton of fun!
Normal Sight Word Fishing
Lay your magnetic fish out on the floor with all of the sight words pointing up.
Give one of your students the fishing pole and then, call out a sight word.
They’ll need to find and catch the correct sight word fish before handing the pole off to the next student in line.
Fishing for Pairs
For this version of the activity, you’ll need to print and prep two sets of magnetic sight word fish, and while you’ll still lay them all out on the floor with the sight words pointing up, this time, you’ll want to mix them up a bit sot that the same two words aren’t next to each other.
You also may want to cut back on the number of sight words that you use at one time in this version as having too many fish on the floor at once can be very overwhelming for some students.
Then, when your fish are ready, instead of calling out a sight word you’re going to let your students look for their own.
This time, they’ll need to find a matching pair of sight word fish and read the word for themselves as they catch them.
Once they’ve found their pair, they’ll hand the pole off to the next student in line.