Are you smarter than a 5th grader when it comes to vocabulary? If the fifth grader has aspirations of competing in the Game Show Network’s (GSN) National Vocabulary Competition (NVC) some day, abandon all hope. That is one of the most difficult word competitions ever, but true to form, Cass Technical High School students are a lot smarter than a fifth grader and they’re getting ready for the challenge.

Six Cass students will join nearly 100 students from Metro Detroit schools, in the second annual citywide NVC at Renaissance High School, Monday, December 3 at 5:30 p.m. There they’ll face some tough vocabulary questions posed in a real high-pressure, game show setting with lights, buzzers, cameras and lots of action. Under the direction of their coach, Denise Misuraca/English curriculum leader at Cass Tech, the students literally began learning the meaning of hundreds of new words by opening their dictionaries and starting with. They are also playing word games and studying word analogies and meanings, mnemonic devices, similes/antonyms, the Princeton Review/NVC Study Guide and reading…..a lot! It helped them to master words such as bastinado, guidnunc, Mechlin and replevin and many more. The students were selected by an in-school qualifying exam. They had the highest scores. One student, Elizabeth Van Horn, was the citywide winner last year. This year’s winner will receive $5,000 for college and will be flown to Los Angeles in March to compete for a $40,000 scholarship in the nationals. GSN created the competition with the Princeton Review, to motivate youngsters to increase their vocabulary and have some fun.

Misuraca says her students are very, very smart, proud of it and love to compete. This year will be especially important for team member Christopher Boyd who was eliminated in a sudden-death match last year. Like his teammates, he’s back, and more determined than ever to extirpate his opponents.

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