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1st Grade Spelling Words: Essential Vocabulary for Young Writers

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In this article, we will explore the world of 1st grade spelling words. We will provide you with a comprehensive list of words that your child should know by the end of first grade, including short and long vowels, sight words, and compound words. We will also offer tips and tricks for helping your child improve their spelling skills, as well as fun and engaging activities to make learning to spell a breeze. So whether you are a parent, teacher, or student, join us as we dive into the exciting world of first grade spelling words!

1st Grade Spelling Words

Mastering 1st Grade Spelling Words: Essential Vocabulary for Young Writers

Understanding 1st Grade Spelling Words

1st grade spelling is the level of spelling that is expected of students in the first grade of elementary school. It is the beginning of the journey towards building a strong vocabulary and spelling skills. At this grade level, students are typically introduced to basic spelling rules and patterns, such as short vowels, long vowels, and consonant blends.

What are Spelling Words for 1st Grade?

Spelling words are words that students are expected to learn how to spell correctly. These words can be categorized into different groups, such as sight words, phonetic words, and graded spelling word lists. Sight words are commonly used words that students should recognize by sight, such as “the,” “and,” and “is.” Phonetic words are words that follow specific spelling rules, such as “cat,” “hat,” and “bat.” Graded spelling word lists are lists of words that are organized by grade level and difficulty.’

Importance of Vocabulary in 1st Grade

In 1st grade, students are introduced to new vocabulary words every day. These words are not only important for reading and writing, but they also help children understand the world around them. By learning new words, children can better express their thoughts and ideas, and they can understand the thoughts and ideas of others.

To help 1st graders build their vocabulary skills, it is important to provide them with a variety of vocabulary words and activities. One effective way to do this is by using vocabulary lists. The Basic Spelling Vocabulary List, created by Steve Graham, Karen R. Harris, and Connie Loynachan, is a great resource for teachers and parents. This list contains 850 words that account for 80 percent of the words children use in their writing.

Here are some examples of 1st grade spelling words:

Short Vowels Long Vowels Consonant Blends
cat bake bl
mat cake cl
hat lake fl
sat date gl
pat gate pl
rat late sl

Phonics for 1st Grade Spelling Words

Short Vowel Words

Short vowel words are an essential part of phonics and spelling for first-grade students. These words contain short vowel sounds and are often used in simple sentences. Here are some examples of short vowel words:

Word Meaning
cat a small domesticated carnivorous mammal
bed a piece of furniture for sleeping or resting on
pig an omnivorous domesticated hoofed mammal
top the highest point or part of something

Long Vowel Words

Long vowel words are another important aspect of phonics and spelling for first-grade students. These words contain long vowel sounds and are often used in more complex sentences. Here are some examples of long vowel words:

Word Meaning
cake a sweet baked dessert
kite a toy consisting of a light frame with thin material stretched over it
goat a sure-footed domesticated mammal
cube a three-dimensional object with six square faces

Consonants and Blends

Consonants and blends are also crucial components of phonics and spelling for first-grade students. Consonants are sounds made by obstructing airflow, while blends are combinations of two or more consonant sounds. Here are some examples of consonants and blends:

Consonant Blend
b bl
c cl
d dr
f fl
g gr

CVC Words

CVC words are three-letter words that follow the pattern of consonant-vowel-consonant. These words are often used in simple sentences and are an important part of phonics and spelling for first-grade students. Here are some examples of CVC words:

Word Meaning
cat a small domesticated carnivorous mammal
dog a domesticated carnivorous mammal
hat a covering for the head
pig an omnivorous domesticated hoofed mammal


Syllables are another important aspect of phonics and spelling for first-grade students. A syllable is a unit of sound that contains a vowel sound. Here are some examples of words with one, two, and three syllables:

One Syllable Two Syllables Three Syllables
cat table computer
dog pencil elephant
hat window telephone
pig teacher umbrella

Spelling Words List for 1st Grade

Common 1st Grade Words

We start with Dolch and Fry sight word lists, which are crucial for early literacy. These words are commonly used in texts and may not follow standard phonetic patterns, making them essential for students to memorize.

Dolch Sight Words

Word Meaning
after later in time or place
again one more time; another time
an used before words that start with a vowel sound
any used to refer to one or some of a thing or number of things, no matter how much or how many
as to the same degree or amount
ask to say something in order to obtain an answer or some information
by identifying the agent performing an action
could past tense of “can,” to indicate possibility
every all possible; used to refer to all the people or things in a particular group or all the parts of something
fly to move through the air using wings
from indicating the point in space at which a journey, motion, or action starts
give to freely transfer the possession of something to someone
going moving or proceeding
had past tense of “have,” to possess, own, or hold
has third person singular present of “have”
her belonging to or associated with a female person or animal previously mentioned or easily identified
him used to refer to a man, boy, or male animal previously mentioned or easily identified
his belonging to or associated with a male person or animal previously mentioned or easily identified
how in what way or manner; by what means
just very recently; in the immediate past
know to be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information
let to allow or permit
live to have one’s home in a particular place
may expressing possibility
of expressing the relationship between a part and a whole
old having lived for a long time; no longer young
once at some time in the past; formerly
open allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up
over extending directly upward from
put to move to or place in a particular position
round shaped like a circle or cylinder
some an unspecified amount or number of
stop to cause to cease moving or operating
take to lay hold of something with one’s hands; reach for and hold

Fry Sight Words

Word Meaning
and used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly
is 3rd person singular present of “be”
you second person pronoun; the person or people that the speaker is addressing
that used to identify a specific person or thing observed or heard by the speaker
it used to refer to a thing previously mentioned or easily identified
he used to refer to a man, boy, or male animal previously mentioned or easily identified
was past tense of “is”
for used to indicate the use of something
on physically in contact with and supported by a surface
are second person singular present or first, second, or third person plural present of “be”
as to the same degree or amount
with accompanied by another person or thing
his belonging to or associated with a male person or animal previously mentioned or easily identified
they used to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified
I used by the speaker to refer to himself or herself
at expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position
be used to indicate the identity of a person or thing

Weekly Spelling Themes

The first-grade spelling words program includes 32 weekly spelling lists, with each week containing 10 different spelling words. These weekly spelling lists are based on word families and include Dolch and Fry sight word lists, as well as phonetic word pattern lists (CVC, word families). The following are some examples of weekly spelling words:

  • Week 1: cat, hat, sat, mat, rat, bat, pat, chat, flat, that
  • Week 2: pin, win, bin, tin, fin, grin, spin, skin, twin, thin
  • Week 3: red, bed, fed, led, wed, sled, shed, fled, bred, pled

Seasonal Word Lists

Throughout the year, we also incorporate seasonal words into our spelling lists. This approach helps connect our students’ learning with the world around them and the events they observe and celebrate.

Season Words
Spring bloom, bunny, flowers, rain, rainbow, warm, nest, grow, green, butterfly
Summer sun, beach, hot, swim, vacation, ice cream, sunny, camp, picnic, shorts
Autumn leaves, harvest, pumpkin, acorn, chilly, squirrel, orange, rake, corn, Thanksgiving
Winter snow, cold, ice, snowman, winter, freeze, coat, scarf, sled, Christmas

Word Families and Compound Words

In first grade, students are introduced to the concept of word families. Word families are groups of words that have a similar pattern or structure. They are an essential part of learning to read and write as they help children recognize patterns in words and understand how they are formed. Here are some common word families for first-grade students:

Word Family Example Words
-at cat, hat, sat, mat
-an man, can, fan, pan
-en pen, hen, ten, den
-et net, pet, set, get
-ig pig, wig, dig, big

Compound words are another important aspect of first-grade spelling. Compound words are formed by combining two or more words to create a new word with a different meaning. Here are some examples of compound words:

Compound Word Meaning
backpack A bag with shoulder straps that allow it to be carried on one’s back
baseball A ball game played with a bat and ball between two teams of nine players
inside The inner side or surface of something
outside The external side or surface of something
rainbow An arch of colors visible in the sky, caused by the refraction of the sun’s light by rain
sunflower A tall North American plant of the daisy family, with very large golden-rayed flowers
butterfly A nectar-feeding insect with large, often brightly colored wings
sandbox A shallow box or hollow in the ground partly filled with sand for children to play in
toothbrush A brush for cleaning teeth
starfish A marine echinoderm with five or more radiating arms, typically having the mouth on the underside
cupcake A small cake baked in a cup-shaped container and typically iced

Learning compound words helps students understand the relationship between words and how they can be combined to create new words.

It’s important to note that some words can be both compound words and part of a word family. For example, the word “sunflower” is a compound word made up of “sun” and “flower,” but “flower” is also part of the -er word family.

Spelling Activities for 1st Grade

Interactive Games

We love to incorporate interactive games into our spelling routine. Online platforms offer exciting games that can turn spelling practice into an adventure. For instance, we might use a game where students pop balloons with the correct spelling, or we venture on virtual treasure hunts where each correct word leads them closer to the prize. These games keep our spelling sessions lively and enjoyable.

Hands-on Exercises

Hands-on exercises are perfect for kids who thrive on tactile experiences. We often create Spelling Word Building with our first graders using letter tiles or blocks. Another favorite is the “Spelling Garden” where each student plants a seed for every word they spell correctly, growing a beautiful garden of words on paper.

Spelling Word Building

  • Letter tiles
  • Letter blocks

Spelling Garden

  • Planting seeds for correct words
  • Growing a paper garden

Daily Spelling Practice

For daily spelling practice, consistency is key. We have daily tasks that our first graders dive into. Each day might include a new activity like filling in the blanks, unscrambling jumbled letters, or locating words in a word search. Regular exposure to these exercises helps cement the spellings in their minds.


  • Fill in the blanks


  • Unscramble jumbled letters


  • Word search puzzles

Each spelling activity is a step toward our first graders becoming proficient and confident spellers. We believe in keeping the learning process engaging, varied, and filled with opportunities that cater to every type of learner.

List of 1st Grade Spelling Words

Here is a list of 1st Grade Spelling Words for your reference:

cat dog hat bat
mat sit hit fit
bit hot pot not
got lot sun fun
run bun gun man
can pan fan van
bed red fed led
wed hen pen ten
den men big pig
wig fig dig top
hop pop mop cop
mud bud dud hug
bug rug mug tug
six mix fix lip
sip tip dip zip
let pet met jet
net wet win pin
tin bin fin rat
fat sat pat map
cap tap gap nap
log fog jog hog
box fox pox kid
lid did and the
you see for are
is his her has
was am at as
be by he me
she we no so
go to do an
on up us if
in it of r
my like have from
one had word but
what all were when
your said there use
each which how their
will way about many
then them these some
would make him into
time look two more
write number could people
than first water been
call who oil its
now find long down
day get come made
may part

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I effectively teach spelling to 1st graders?

To teach spelling effectively, we incorporate a blend of phonetics, sight word recognition, and consistent practice. We also ensure that the words are age-appropriate to maintain your child’s interest and engagement.

What are some common spelling words for 1st-grade students?

Common 1st-grade spelling words often include Fry and Dolch sight words, as well as simple CVC words like ‘cat’, ‘dog’, and ‘hat’. These build a foundation for more complex word patterns.

What methods can help first graders learn to spell new words?

Methods that are beneficial encompass multisensory techniques such as saying letters out loud while writing, using magnetic letters for word building, and employing flashcards for repetition and memory aids.

Can you suggest fun spelling activities for 1st-grade children?

Fun activities include spelling games like ‘hangman’, word searches, or memory match games using spelling words. Interactive computer games and apps designed for early readers can also be helpful and engaging.

What techniques can I use to improve my first grader’s spelling skills?

We suggest using techniques such as daily writing prompts, which encourage children to use new words in context, and reading together regularly, as exposure to words in literature can naturally improve spelling.

Is there a recommended curriculum to follow for teaching spelling in 1st grade?

While there isn’t a single recommended curriculum, most educators agree on including a mix of sight words, phonics, and family words in their teaching. Curricula should be adaptable to meet individual student needs.

Good spelling words for first graders include basic sight words, short vowel words, and common nouns. Examples include:


  • cat
  • \n

  • dog
  • \n

  • hat
  • \n

  • run
  • \n

  • jump
  • \n

  • red
  • \n

  • blue
  • \n

  • yellow
  • \n

  • one
  • \n

  • two
  • \n

  • three
  • \n

  • and
  • \n

  • the
  • \n

  • is
  • \n

  • are
  • \n

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What vocabulary words should 1st graders know?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

First graders should know basic vocabulary words that are age-appropriate and commonly used in daily life. Examples include:


  • family members (mom, dad, sister, brother)
  • \n

  • colors (red, blue, green, yellow)
  • \n

  • animals (cat, dog, bird, fish)
  • \n

  • food (apple, banana, pizza, sandwich)
  • \n

  • weather (sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy)
  • \n

  • body parts (head, arms, legs, feet)
  • \n

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are short a words for first grade spelling?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Short a words for first grade spelling include:


  • cat
  • \n

  • hat
  • \n

  • bat
  • \n

  • rat
  • \n

  • mat
  • \n

  • sat
  • \n

  • pat
  • \n

  • fat
  • \n

  • map
  • \n

  • lap
  • \n

  • cap
  • \n

  • tap
  • \n

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are the first grade spelling words Week 10?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The first grade spelling words for Week 10 may vary depending on the curriculum being used, but a common list may include:


  • house
  • \n

  • mouse
  • \n

  • mouth
  • \n

  • cloud
  • \n

  • loud
  • \n

  • found
  • \n

  • pound
  • \n

  • sound
  • \n

  • south
  • \n

  • round
  • \n

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is included in the 1st grade spelling curriculum?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The 1st grade spelling curriculum typically includes basic phonics rules, sight words, and vocabulary words. Students learn to recognize and spell words with short vowels, consonant blends, and digraphs. They also learn common nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some printable 1st grade spelling words?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

There are many printable 1st grade spelling word lists available online. Some websites offer free downloads of spelling worksheets and activities. Examples of printable 1st grade spelling words include:


  • hop
  • \n

  • top
  • \n

  • mop
  • \n

  • pop
  • \n

  • sun
  • \n

  • fun
  • \n

  • run
  • \n

  • bun
  • \n

  • hat
  • \n

  • mat
  • \n

  • sat
  • \n

  • rat
  • \n


Remember, consistent practice and repetition are key to improving spelling skills in first grade.