Word lists for reading instruction have long been of interest to educators. It has been noted by Johnson and Barrett (16) that over 125 word lists have been constructed during the past seventy years. Of these many word lists, there is little doubt that the Dolch list has received widest publication and use. Authors of texbooks on the teaching of reading (1, 8, 18, 23) have made reference to the Dolch list with suggestions for teaching the words. In addition, many reading materials have been developed to help teach these words in isolation and in context. Books have been written with the Dolch words and a small number of nouns to give children practice in using these words in a natural reading situation. Johnson (15) is probably correct in observing that hundreds of thousands of children have been asked to learn these 220 basic words.
Johns, J. L. (1976). Updating the Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary. Reading Horizons, 16 (2). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol16/iss2/7