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Grade 1 National Reading Vocabulary
See also: AVKO Spelling | Research

Developed by 

With additions and comments by Don McCabe Director of the AVKO Educational Research Foundation.  We hope his comments and additions may prove helpful to those teachers who believe that it is more economical to teach decoding using onsets & rimes than to just teach single words by sight or by phonic rules without a lot of examples.

The 340 reading vocabulary words in this 1st Grade list have been carefully selected as words which students need to master by the end of Grade 1.  Students who achieve this goal will be reading slightly above grade level and typically score in the top 25% on national reading tests (such as the Stanford Achievement Test – SAT).

The 340 words introduced in the 1st Grade List
are arranged as follows:

1st nine weeks - 70 words With AVKO additions 333
2nd nine weeks - 90 words With AVKO additions 438
3rd nine weeks - 90 words
4th nine weeks - 90 words
TOTAL = 340 words in 36 weeks
AVKO's Total = 771 words in 18 weeks!

The first nine weeks begins with a two week review of all consonant sounds which should have been memorized during Kindergarten. It is extremely important that all students have completely memorized the consonant sounds before beginning the vocabulary words.  This insures students have the "foundation skills" necessary for efficient learning of the Grade 1 reading words.  

AVKO Note:  This is intended for classrooms of 20 to 30 students.  As you know your child, the review may not even take a day.  Even if your child doesn't know all the consonant sounds, you can make notes of which you will need to make sure he learns.

The words used in our Grade 1 Vocabulary List have been carefully selected as the high frequency words typically used in 1st Grade reading books and Grade 1 standardized tests. When you begin the support materials in our TampaRead’s Grade 1 Program (which parallel these vocabulary words), it is essential for your students to have mastered the consonant sounds for letters – b – c – d – f – g – h – j – k – l – m – n – p – q – r – s – t – v – w – x – y – z.    We stress again that failure to memorize these sounds will result in students learning at a much slower rate.

AVKO Note:  If you have taught your children manuscript printing using, Let's Write Right, you know that your children know all these sounds.

The vocabulary words are arranged from the "most common" in the beginning weeks to the "lesser common" words toward the end of the year. This provides you the most logical and efficient order for instruction throughout the year. To further increase memorization efficiency we have organized words into similar vowel sound and reading-rule categories. This strategy alone dramatically increases the rate in which a student learns new words by providing an “easy to remember” common sound or rule to use while decoding the words.

After working with hundreds of students over the past 15 years, we have confirmed that students who can read these 340 words by the end of their Grade 1 year will be reading at approximately a 2.0 Grade Level and typically score in the top 25% on First Grade standardized tests (i.e. S.A.T.).  If you would like to view the vocabulary building worksheets and additional materials we’ve developed to assist in memorization of these Grade 1 reading words– please view our Grade 1 Reading Package at - if you are not currently a TampaReads/ReadingKey member.

Happy Reading….

Richard Pressinger (M.Ed.) Reading Specialist 

Important “Difficult” Vocabulary Words 

The last word in each daily list is what we call our “Word of the Day.”  It has been printed in blue or red  to make it “stand out” from the other phonics based reading words.  The “Word of the Day” is far more difficult to learn than the other words in the column.  This difficulty occurs because it is either visually similar to other words (i.e. went – want) or is not consistent with typical phonics rules (i.e. does-duz – what-wut).  The “Word of the Day” must be given much more practice to insure its memorization. 

1st Quarter Week 1

Consonant sounds heard at the beginning of the letter name (except “c”  and “g.”)
Consonant Sounds heard at the “beginning” of the letter name
1. b says
2. c says ....  followed by a/o/u
3. d says
4. g says
5. k says
6. p says
7. t says
8. ch says
9. l says
10. m says
c says followed by e/i
g says followed by e/i
j says
q says
v says
z says
sh says

1st Quarter Week 2

Monday & Tuesday Soft Sounds
Consonant Sounds heard at the "end" of the letter name

1. f says...
2. m says...
3. n says...
4. r says...
5. s says...
6. th says...


Wednesday & Thursday 
The 5 Most Difficult to Learn Consonant Sounds

1. l says...
2. h says...
3. w says...when beginning a word
4. x the end of a word (ks)
5. y says...
when beginning a word
6. wh says...


1st Quarter Week 3

Monday & Tuesday
Short a  (5 words yield 33 more)
Wednesday & Thursday
Short a (5 words yield 15 more)
1. am + 10: jam Sam ham lamb clam Pam ram dam wham dam 
2. an + 13: can Dan fan ran Fran bran Jan man Nan pan tan Stan van
3. at + 10: bat rat brat fat hat mat Nat pat Pat vat
4. as (z) + 1 has
5. the (W.D.)
1. and + 8 band Rand brand grand hand land sand stand
2. can + (same as an)
3. had + 7 ad add dad fad lad mad sad Tad 
4. has + (same as as)
5. said (W.D.)

AVKO Note: A good way to lock in the target high frequency words is to teach them in conjunction with the other words that share the same family endings which today's educators refer to as "rimes."  Eight and ate are rhymes, not rimes.  The words weight and freight share the eight rimeDate and state  share the ate rime.  The original National Grade 1 Vocabulary Lists have only 10 words per week.  We have noted how in the learning of the ten target words a child might learn many more words if given the opportunity, especially if the extra words are used to help lock in the target words.

1st Quarter Week 4

Monday & Tuesday
Short e (5 words yield 25 more)
Wednesday & Thursday
Short e (5 words yield 16 more)
1. red + 8: Ed Fred bed fed led Ned Ted wed
2. men + 10: Ben den Jen Ken Len pen wren ten when Zen
3. let + 8:  bet Bret get met net set wet yet Chet
4. get (See let)
5. was 
1. ten (See men)
2. tell + 9: bell cell sell fell jell Kell Nell well yell
3. yes + 7: Bess Hess Jess less mess press Tess stress guess unless chess
4. yet + (See let)
5. from

1st Quarter Week 5

Monday & Tuesday
Short i  (5 words yield 45 more)
Wednesday & Thursday
Short i (5 words yield 19 more)
1. if + 6: Biff tiff stiff whiff miff jiff
2. in + 12: bin din fin gin grin kin skin pin sin spin tin win
3. it + 14 bit fit lit flit hit kit skit nit knit pit quit sit wit zit
4. it's + 13: bits fits flits hits kits skits nits knits pits quits sits wits zits
5 have  (W.D.)
1. is (iz) +1: his

2. did + 6: bid hid kid lit rid Sid

3. him + 12: Bim dim limb Jim Kim rim brim Tim trim vim shim whim 
4. his + (See is)
5. one  (W.D.) + 1: once 

1st Quarter Week 6

Monday & Tuesday
Short o (5 words yield 41 more)
Wednesday & Thursday
Short o (5 words yield 26 more)
1. got + 14: cot dot hot jot lot plot slot not knot pot rot tot shot snot  
2. fox + 8: ox box lox fox Cox Knox pox sox 
3. dog + 5: bog fog log frog jog cog clog slog 
4. not (See got)
5. saw + 14: aw caw law slaw claw paw draw gnaw Shaw chaw raw craw flaw jaw 
1. off+ 5: doff 
2. top + 13:  bop cop lop clop slop plop pop hop mop top stop chop stop 
3. stop (See top)
4. long + 5: bong gong wrong tong strong 
5. come + 3 :(become some handsome

1st Quarter Week 7

Monday & Tuesday
Short u (5 words yield  23 more)
Wednesday & Thursday
Short u (5 words yield  5 more)
1. up + 3: cup sup pup 
2. us +5: bus pus plus thus
3. fun + 5: bun dun (done) gun nun (none) pun spun run sun (son) shun 
4. jump + 10: bump dump lump pump plump sump stump mumps rump trump 
5. you  (w.d.) 
1. bus (See us)
2. but + 6: cut gut hut nut shut rut
3. sun (See fun)
4. run (See fun)
5. your (See you) (w.d.)

1st Quarter Week 8

Monday & Tuesday
long vowel ending 3 new yields 8
Wednesday & Thursday
long vowel ending 2 new yield 12
1. go + 5: no so going
2. no (See go)
3. me + 5: be being he she
4. we (See me)
5. going (See go)
1. so (See go)
2. be (See me)
3. he (See me)
4. my + 10: by dry fry cry spy fly sly shy sky why
5. why (See my)

1st Quarter Week 9

Monday & Tuesday
small "tricky" words 2 new words
Wednesday & Thursday
small "tricky" words 5 words yield 8 more
1. by (See my above)
2. I
3. of
4. to + 1: do 
5. goes (W.D.)
1. Oh
2. on + 8: Don don Ron Jon John Lon con yon 
3. do (See to)
4. she (See me above)
5. color (colour) W.D.

1st  Quarter Week 10

Monday & Tuesday 
final-e rule 5 words yield 35
Wednesday & Thursday
ar (r-controlled vowel) 5 yields 21
1. name + 12: came dame fame frame game lame blame flame Mame shame same tame
 2. home + 4 dome Rome Nome gnome 
3. here (there where were)
4. like + 7: bike dike hike pike Mike mike strike 
5. give (W.D) + 1: live liver giver shiver quiver river
1. are (W.D.!)
2. car + : bar far jar mar par spar tar star char  
3. far (See car)
4. dark + : bark lark Clark mark Mark park shark stark hark 
5. giving + living 

1st Quarter Week 11

Monday & Tuesday
ai ee ie oa ea digraphs 5 words yield 37 words
Wednesday & Thursday
or (r-controlled vowel) 5 words yield 23 words
1. rain + 12: brain drain grain train strain lain slain stain main pain Spain sprain 
2. see + 8: bee Dee fee free gee Lee flee knee tee tree 
3. lie + 2: die pie
4. road + toad 
5. read (2) + 8: bread thread tread lead (2) bead mead lead (2) knead 
1. or +  2: for nor 
2. for (See or)
3. more + 17: ore bore core score fore before gore lore galore pore spore tore sore store shore wore swore
4. before (See more above)
5. orange (W.D.)

1st Quarter Week 12

Monday & Tuesday
oo 2 sounds 5 words yield 26
Wednesday & Thursday
Short a 3 new words yield 27
1. too + 3: boo goo moo 
2. soon + 10: boon baboon coon raccoon cocoon goon loon balloon moon noon 
3. look + 8: book cook hook nook took shook rook brook
4. good + 2: wood stood
5. where (w.d.) + here there were
(We were here.  We were there.  Where were we?  Here or there?
1. ran See can Lesson 3 above
2. man (See can Lesson 3 above)
3. fast +8 : faster cast caster last plaster mast master past 
4. back + 16: rack crack shack tack sack stack lack black clack slack whack Jack hack knack pack quack 
5. were (w.d.)

1st Quarter Week 13

Monday & Tuesday
Short e 2 words yield 25
Wednesday & Thursday
Short e 2 words yield 7
1. wet  See let Week 5
2. well + 12: bell dell fell hell jell Nell quell sell tell swell
3. went + 11: bent dent gent Kent lent pent rent Trent sent tent vent
4.when See men Week 4
5. says
1. net  See let Week 5
2. left + 3: deft theft bereft
3. then See men Week 4
4. them + 2: gem hem
5. little

1st Quarter Week 14

Monday & Tuesday
Short i 5 words yield 22
Wednesday & Thursday
Short i 5 words yield 38 words
1. six + 6: fix fixes mix mixes nix nixes sixes
2. big + 9: dig fig gig jig MIG pig rig wig zig
3. with
4. this + 7: Chris,  hiss hisses kiss kisses bliss miss misses
5. they (W.D.): hey grey (BR) prey
1. will + 12: ill Bill dill fill gill hill Jill kill skill mill pill spill quill rill drill thrill
2. hill  (See above)
3. think + 12: ink kink link clink slink blink wink rink drink sink 
4. which +9: rich itch ditch pitch kitchen witch stitch Mitch hitch
5. there (W.D.) Where? Here or there?

1st Quarter Week 15

Monday & Tuesday
ow - long sound 4 words yield 22 words
Wednesday & Thursday
ow - short ow sound 4 words yield 28 words
1. low + 17: below blow slow row crow grow show sow stow snow mow flow know tomorrow sorrow borrow morrow 
2. slow (See low above)
3. know (See low above)
4. tomorrow (See low above)
5. what (W.D.)
1. how + 14: cow Dow flower shower mow now pow wow powwow row brow prow sow scow  
2. now (See how above)
3. down + 7: town downtown clown drown brown frown crown
4. brown (See down above)
5. want (W.D.)

1st Quarter Week 16

Monday & Tuesday
Short o  3 words yield 16
Wednesday & Thursday
"all" words 1 word yields 12 words
1. box (See fox Week 6)
2. hot  (See got Week 6)
3. mom + : Tom bomb Dom ROM 
4. lost + 1: cost frost 
5. walk+ : talk stalk chalk balk calk 
1. all + 11: ball call fall gall hall mall small tall stall install wall
2. ball (See all above)
3. call (See all above)
4. fall (See all above)
5. small (See all above)

1st Quarter Week 17

Monday & Tuesday
er ir (r-controlled vowels) 4 new words yield 28 words
Wednesday & Thursday
final-e rule 3 new words yield 34 words
1. her + 8: refer prefer transfer offer differ suffer per person
2. after + 5: rafter aft raft graft shaft
3. girl + 3: whirl swirl twirl 
4. turn +6: return burn sunburn churn urn spurn
5. does +1: doesn't
1. five + 10: dive arrive drive live alive jive chives knives wives lives
2. time + 6: dime rime crime lime slime mime 
3. take + 15: bake rake brake break cake fake Jake lake flake make stake steak shake wake awake
4. came (See name Week 10)
5. who  (See to Week 9

1st Quarter Week 18

Monday & Tuesday
Short a 1 new word yields 7
Wednesday & Thursday
ay (long a sound) 2 new words  yield 30 words
1. black (See back Week 12)
2. that (See at Week 3)
3. than (See an Week 3)
4. shall + Al Cal gal Hal pal Sal 
5. given (W.D.) See give Week 10 + driven 
1. day + 12: bay ray bray Fay hay Jay Kay lay clay flay slay play may nay pay Ray pray spray tray stray gray say stay may May way sway Tway  
2. say (See above)
3. may (See above)
4. way (See above)
5. their (W.D.) they their he his / she her

AVKO occasionally disagrees with the "phonics" presented by the authors of this 1st grade lesson plan schedule.  For example, we believe the word "shall" does not follow the short a rule.  We further believe the "all" words are the regular words following the "AW" sound which is not the short o.  In standard American English Don and Dawn are not homophones.  However, in some dialects they are.  But as linguists and dialects differ, what is important is the learning to read and spell and not the quibbling over the phonics of our language.  For the complete 1st year schedule go to

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