The High Use 500 Word List

Over the years researchers have carefully tabulated the highest-utility words.
Spelling instruction with the goal of helping students become better spellers in their daily writing, must focus exclusively on these high-utility words.
The list of words here was compiled initially from the American Heritage Word Frequency Study (Carroll, Davies, Richman). These words were cross-checked with other respected studies (Gates, Horn, Rinsland, Greene and Loomer, Harris and Jacobson).
Very little difference is noted among these sources. In 1985 Milton Jacobson analyzed the compositions of over 22,000 students in Grades 2-12 to determine the validity of these and other word-frequency studies. The results of this intensive alalysis indicated thta students continue to use the same basic core of high-frequency words in their writing and that the minor differences in frequency placement of words on the various list were insignificant. (From the 1200 high-frequency writing word list, SPELLING SOURCEBOOK 1.)

This site is to provide you with fun in learning the High-Use 500 words. Click on a word list and see if you can say the word before it disappears.

It was originally designed for my daughter, Michelle, to improve her reading skills. Michelle has Attention Deficit Disorder and had a hard time sitting down and going through the word list. I made this site for her so that she could study her words. We decided to share it with you.

Parental Tips For Younger Children:
  • Sit down with your child and repeat the words together.
  • Print out the word list to practice the words without timing.
  • Let them see how many words they can say without help
  • As the lists progress the words get harder.
  • I have added an option so that your child can go slower of faster depending on their skill level.
  • The first time that the graphic word list loads, it might take a while. After it loads fully, it will move faster.
Copyright © 2001 - 2005 Julie Siler "The WebSpinner"