Shhhh. Listen deeply. Listen earnestly.
Sometimes words that define the strongest emotions are quiet words. Children love to hear quiet words said quietly.
Whisper silent. Whisper solemn. Allow the s’s to carry the entire word. Ask your children to whisper silent. Whisper solemn.
Set the mood, the tone, the spirit and the sound for our next 2 Adjectives:
1. silent – quiet, noiseless; making no noise or sound; unable to speak. What to love about this word? silent sounds silent. silent sounds like leaves dropping, snow falling. silent sounds like the love of a dog or cat sleeping in a rolled up ball at your side. silent like the moon in the afternoon sky. Encourage your children to use silent in their speaking and writing when silent truly is silent. Use silent at magical, mystical moments. Use silent with extraordinary care. The impact of silent should leave one… well, speechless. Explain to your children that the choice of one lone adjective often creates the greatest image. silent. Talk about it. Listen for it. Be it… just to see how it feels. Feeling a word is a great gift for any child!
We’ve already bumped into silent in 2 poems in our 365 Days of Literacy for Kids… Fog on Day 10 and The Silent Horse on Day 18:
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on
and the horse looks at him in silence.
They are so silent they are in another world.
Beyond quiet. Beyond noiseless. silent… an otherworldly absence of sound.
2. solemn – serious, earnest, grave; performed with ceremony. What to love about this word? solemn says serious. Say solemn with your children. Can you hear just how seriously earnest solemn is? solemn captures moments and times of great ceremony, when important actions or feelings are met with reverence… like religious observances or services. But solemn can also describe and define nature’s great ceremonies, too… like the journey of the moon rising in the night sky or the first glimpse of the sun at dawn. Encourage your children to use solemn in their speaking and writing, but give solemn the reverence it deserves. solemn is an important word, an imposing word, a word filled with special formality. Be on the lookout for solemn in your lives. Use it. Feel it. Feeling a word is the greatest way to own a word.
We bumped into solemn in the poem Full Moon on Day 19 of 365 Days of Literacy for Kids:
One night as Dick lay fast asleep,
Into his drowsy eyes
A great still light began to creep
From out the silent skies.
It was the lovely moon’s, for when
He raised his dreamy head,
Her surge of silver filled the pane
And streamed across his bed.
So, for a while, each gazed at each-
Dick and the solemn moon-
Till, climbing slowly on her way,
She vanished, and was gone.
(Hey, did you see silent, too!?) solemn. Think serious, think earnest, think ceremony. Think things like the moon and her quiet, ceremonious character … and your children will get it.
silent. solemn. 2 Adjectives that say it all in the most quiet of ways. Children love words that mean so much. It’s up to us to give them the chance to know them and to use them. Remember that LITERACY is all about WORDS – Written, Spoken, Felt.