High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy

hfwst cover

This past year I was searching for the Dolch’s sight word list and came across Fry’s Instant words. Dr. Fry’s Instant words or sometimes referred to as High Frequency Words were expanded in 1996 from the Dolch’s sight word list. Dr. Fry found in his research that over half of every newspaper article, textbook, children’s book, and novel consist of the first 300 words.

* 25 words make up about 1/3 of all items                  published

* 100 words complete about ½ of all of the                   words found in publications

* 300 words make up about 65% of all written                material

Dr. Fry’s Instant Words list consist of 1000 words arranged in order of frequency. Each group of 100 words is separated into 4 sets of 25. These words are critical for teaching reading, writing, and spelling.  Young readers need to be able to instantly recognize these words by sight in order since many are difficult to phonetically sound out and visualize. Once a reader masters the first 300 words it will greatly improve their reading fluency and comprehension. By the end of fifth grade a child should be able to recognize all 1000 Instant Words by sight.

Why should I be using High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy?

As an SLP I was vaguely familiar with the sight word list but I had never heard of Fry’s Instant words. After reading more about it a light bulb went off. Why am I focusing on words that a student rarely uses in conversation? I should be focusing therapy on the words that they use and read most often in class and everyday language. So that started my journey of organizing Fry’s Instant words into High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy. 

High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy consist of 106 pages.

This product contains:

  • Pages 3-4 – Information about Fry’s Instant Words list for which this product is based. Also this section contains examples of how this product can be used to address a variety of communication disorders.
  • Pages 5-14 – Fry’s Instant Words divided into 10 sets of words from most frequent to least frequent.fry list
  • Pages 15-24 – Fry’s Instant Words divided into 10 sets of words from most frequent to least frequent phonetically spelled using IPAfry transcribed
  • Page 25 – How to read the High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy list
  • Pages 26-75 – High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy list organized by position of sound . Sounds included are /p, b, t, d, k, g, m, n, ŋ, f, v, h, j, ʃ, tʃ, θ, ð, s, ʒ, z, r, ɚ, ɝ, ɔɚ, ɪɚ, l, r-blends, s-blends, and l-blends/list 1 list 2
  • Pages 77-83 – Instructions and sentence strips for carrier phrases.carrier phrase
  • Pages 84-86 – Directions for Roll-A-Word, Pyramid Challenge, and Base Ten Drill practice. Game boards are in a separate file within the zip folder.

In a separate file you will get three game templates:

  • Pages 1-4 Roll-A-Word Companion Templateroll a word
  • Pages 5-9 Pyramid Challenge Companion Templatepyramid
  • Pages 10-19 Give Me Ten Companion Templategive me ten

As SLPs we want to have the biggest impact on our student’s communication skills as quickly as possible. By targeting these words in therapy we can make a larger impact on the time we spent with our students. Here are some applications for using High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy with a variety of communication disorders:

  • In articulation therapy our goal is to improve a child’s intelligibility by training the correct way to produce a sound. Instead of selecting random words that contain the target sound which are produced in conversation less frequently we should be practicing and training the words that a child says and reads frequently throughout the day.  Mastering the High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy will have a greater impact on their intelligibility.
  • In fluency therapy our goal is to assist the child in producing fluent speech through techniques. Often children struggle to produce a word that begins with a certain sound. High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy can be used to practice sentences containing that word featuring the challenging sound so the child is more likely to use a fluency technique to correct that word when it is said in conversation.
  • When grammar is targeted in therapy the goal is often to improve the child’s sentence structure. By teaching the different High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy in order of frequency children can practice using the word correctly in sentences and build on  to more complex sentences using the words correctly . In addition by focusing on a few words at a time the child can be taught subject/verb agreement,  the names of the different parts of speech, verb tenses, and plural nouns.
  • Vocabulary goals can also be addressed by High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy. To understand and comprehend what they are reading in class a child must know the meaning or multiple meanings  of a word on the list. General knowledge of the word can be expanded on to include identifying antonyms, synonyms, classifying, categories, describing, and word associations.

Here is a link to High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy on my TPT store.

I received this amazing feedback from an SLP that purchased this product:

“High frequency words – so necessary. This is so comprehensive, and I can’t wait to print and use thank you!”

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have before you purchase this product. I hope you find that this product makes your sessions more effective in improving your students’ communication.

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