Big Words


Are you as smart as a four-year-old?  Be careful before you answer.

Do you know the meaning of words fatuous, pugnacious and loquacious?  Because some Sioux Falls preschoolers know those and more.  

It started at St. Kathrine Drexel preschool, with learning the names of the states.  Then preschool teacher Renae Green figured if little kids could learn the names of states, why not tackle something a little harder, like vocabulary?

“We do one word a week. We started with the letter A and now we’re on the letter P,” Green said.  

“Pugnacious means arguing,” 5-year-old Eliel Fung said.

“Alacrity means that you are excited,” 4-year-old Emma Kerkvliet said.

“Blissful means you’re calm and happy. Fatuous means you’re silly,” 4-year-old Hannah Kappel says. 

The kids are encouraged to use their “word of the week” both in the classroom and at home. If they do, they get to use an “O” word.

“Obtain. You obtain a sticker,” Green said. 

Not every student will remember every word, but check out what they still remember from last year.
Green: When something moves back and forth, what does it do?
Class: Oscillate.
Green: Yes, it oscillates.  When we think about something we?
Class: Contemplate.  

So contemplate this. Do you know what your Hallux is? Or even where it is?

“I hurt my, one of the things on my foot,” Green said.

“Hallux, your big toe,” Kerkvliet said.

“I hurt my Hallux; that’s right,” Green said. 

And one final new word for today; a word that describes almost every reporter.

“Loquacious. Every TV reporter is loquacious.”    

Green says she enjoys hearing the stories after kids go home and teach their parents a new word.

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