Wonder Words


Effective literacy requires children to master both the phonics basis of written language and words learnt by ‘sight’. Analysis of written texts has identified the most commonly used words, many of which have irregular pronunciations and cannot be simply ‘sounded out’ with phonics. The Wonder Words* make up just over half of all words used in reading:

  • The Top 12 account for 25%. Learn these first.
  • Add the Super 20 and your child can read 33% of written texts.
  • Complete the full Wonder Word 100 list and your child can read an amazing 50% of words used in reading.

Wonder Word Tips:

  • Avoid the temptation to speed through the list. Introduce new words gradually, only 3-4 new words each time. Practice known words regularly.
  • Get children to point out known words in the stories of My Reading Record and other texts.
  • Download the Wonder Word Incentive Charts and let your child place stickers on those words he’s/she’s mastered.

*Wonder Words are compiled from several sources.


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