Fry’s Instant Words List: First 100 Words

The first 10 words below make up about 24% of all written material, according to Dr. Edward Fry.  The first 100 words make up about 50% according to him.

Copy the words on index cards and have students practice them, starting with the first 10 or 20 words.  Then add 10 or 20 more, depending on the child’s level.  The goal is to work on all 100 words.

There are 300 words in Fry’s total list.

First group of 20 words:

  • the, of, and, a , to , in, is, you, that, it
  • he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I

Second group of 20 words:

  • at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, word
  • but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said

Third group of 20 words:

  • there, use, an, each, which, she, do, how, their, if
  • will, up, other, about, out, many, then, them, these, so

Fourth group of 20 words:

  • some, her, would, make, like, him, into, time, has, look
  • two, more, write, go, see, number, no, way, could, people

Fifth group of 20 words:

  • my, than, first, water, been, call, who, oil, now, find
  • long, down, day, did, get, come, made, may, part, over