From 50-75% of all words used in school books, library books, newspapers, and magazines are in the Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary of 220 words (preschool thru Grade 3). The Dolch word list is made up of "service words" (pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and verbs).
Most cannot be learned through the use of pictures. Many of these words cannot be sounded out because they do not follow decoding rules and, therefore, must be learned as sight words.
Betsy B. Lee has written a poem that she has shared with us to help emphasize the importance of learning dolch words.