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What are Fry Words?

In 1996, Dr. Edward Fry compiled a list of 1,000 words broken up into groups of 100 based on frequency of use. These words make up 90% of the words used in children’s reading materials. Furthermore, the first 100 words on Fry’s list are the most frequently occurring words in the English language according to his research. Fry words are an expanded, updated list of sight words (i.e., compared to the Dolch list of 220 sight words compiled by Edward Dolch in 1948). Many advocates of beginning literacy programs support having their students practice these words to build reading success.