Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Education and International Services


Education, Curriculum and Instruction, MA

First Advisor

Millie Youngberg



The Dolch Word List has been used as a basic list of sight words which children should learn. The purpose of this study was to compare the new words introduced in seven basal reading series on grades one through three with the Dolch word list of 220 words.


After the basal reading series were chosen, the alphabetical listing of the words was compiled with the following information: the words the grade level for each series, and indication of Dolch words. This list was then used to find the percentage of Dolch words on each level of each basal series and on each series for grade groupings. A frequency list has been made of the new words of the seven basal readers by grade level using the alphabetical list.


The percentage of Dolch words in each basal reading series which are new words on each grade level was found with the following averages for grades 1, 2, and 3. respectively: 71%, 16%, and 1%. The percentage of Dolch words introduced as new words were found for each series using the following grade groupings: grade 1, grades 1 & 2, and grades 1, 2, and 3. The averages for these groupings were, respectively: 71%, 87%, and 89%. The frequency listing can be found in Appendix B of the report.


The alphabetical list and the frequency list, as well as the comparison of the Dolch word list with the new word vocabularies for each series, show that there is a great difference in the introduction of new words from series to series. In five of the seven series, however, at least 85% of the Dolch words are included in the new word vocabularies in grades one through three. Thus there is some evidence that this list has a place in the teaching of reading today.

Subject Area

Basal reading instruction; Reading (Elementary)

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