We’re on a mission for adjectives… 56 adjectives, to be exact!
Adjectives add dimension, depth, color, description and definition to writing, speaking, reading. Children absorb adjectives because adjectives give them very clear mental pictures. Mental pictures create the network for language, for learning and for gaining knowledge. So… the more words that children are exposed to, the more mental pictures they create, and the more language, learning and knowledge they absorb.
Kids are not afraid of words. Kids welcome new words, like new friends. Bring these 2 Adjective friends into the lives of your children today:
1. keen – a) sharp, pointed, edged; b) bright, clever, intelligent; c) unusually sensitive; d) intense, strong, cutting; e) enthusiastic, eager; f) observant, perceptive; g) slang – great, awesome. What to love about this word? keen covers a lot of ground, as you can see in the multiple definitions. When thinking keen, think sharp, intense, astute, sensitive, enthusiastic, keen is a word that can be used in many ways by a keen (enthuiastic) learner. We bumped into the word keen in Longfellow’s poem The Arrow and The Song on Day 9 of 365 Days of Literacy for Kids:
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
In the poem, keen means intense. Explain to your children that keen is a complimentary way to be described, as in, The young girl had a keen (astute) understanding of mathematics. keen is used to describe sensitive (of the senses) or penetrating, such as a keen smell, keen glance, keen perception, keen eyes, keen scent. keen is also used as sharp, pointed, edged when describing weapons and cutting instruments, as in, With a keen edged sword, the soldier went into battle. It should come as no surprise that keen has found its way into slang as a synonym for great or fantastic… much like the words cool, intense or awesome, dude! Have fun with your children using the word keen. See just how many times you can use keen today. Personally, I think keen is totally keen!
2. knightly – Having the rank, qualities, characteristics of a knight; noble, chivalrous; things, actions belonging to or suitable to a knight. What to love about this word? Ah. The word knightly has fallen into the rarely used words category because real knights are so rare these days… you know, the ones raised to honorable military rank by the king or queen or of military service devoted to the service of a lady in combat or tournament and all that good stuff. But this doesn’t mean that children can’t use this beautifully descriptive word in their speaking and writing to describe noble or chivalrous actions and things. The word knightly can be used to describe knightly deeds, such as opening a door for a lady, giving up a seat for an elderly person, carrying groceries for someone struggling, helping a stranger in need. The word knightly can be used to describe knightly things, such as armor, weapons, headdresses, plumes. Generations of children have found the classification of knights to be fascinating. Children know what knights are. Why not bring back knightly to perfectly describe knightly deeds and knightly adventures. Begin today!
keen. knightly. Use these 2 Adjectives with your children. Find uses for them all day long. Have fun with them. Remember that LITERACY is all about WORDS – Written, Spoken, Felt. Children love words. keen and knightly are right up there with the best!