When Nick asks a question to stall the lesson, how does Mrs. Granger outsmart him in Frindle?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Nick asks Mrs. Granger where words come from, hoping she will talk too long to give them homework.  She assigns him a report instead—to find out.

Nick Allen does not like homework.  Now that he is in fifth grade, he really has it for the first time.  Mrs. Granger seems to love the dictionary.

Nick had no particular use for the dictionary.  He liked words a lot, and he was good at using them.  But he figured he got all the words he needed just by reading, and he read all the time. (ch 2, p. 11)

Nick, who is an expert at asking the “delaying question,” tries to sidetrack his teachers so they don’t assign homework.  When Mrs. Granger is explaining the vocabulary lesson, he asks her where words come from.  He assumes she likes the dreaded dictionary so much that she will talk until the bell rings.

Nick was famous for doing this, and the whole class knew what he was doing… Unfortunately, so did Mrs. Granger. (ch 3, p. 15)

As a result, Mrs. Granger gives Nick an extra assignment.  He is to research the answer, and give a report in the next class.This is the first step in the battle between Mrs. Granger and Nick.  The next step is the invention of the frindle! 


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