Frindle Questions and Answers
by Andrew Clements

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What does Nick Allen say and do in Andrew Clements' Frindle?

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In the opening chapter of Frindle, author Andrew Clements identifies Nick as the type of person who is not entirely a troublemaker, though he certainly does cause a lot of trouble. He has a tendency to cause trouble because he is a very creative person. As a creative person, he thinks outside of the box and does things contrary to the rest of society, which has a tendency to cause trouble. He particularly thinks creatively whenever he feels bored and wants to enliven his boring school days.

Nick began acting upon his creative ideas when, feeling bored of New Hampshire's February winter, he got the brainstorm to turn his third-grade classroom into a tropical island, complete with colorful paper flowers, raised thermostat temperatures, and even "ten cups of fine white sand [spread] all over the classroom floor" (p. 7). In the fourth grade, he enlivened the classroom experience by experimenting with squeaking the high-pitched chirp the red-winged blackbird uses to avoid danger by confusing hawks. Since hawks can't tell where the chirp is coming from, they get confused about where to look for the blackbird. Noticing that his fourth-grade teacher looks like a hawk, Nick decided to test the sound theory on his teacher and found she definitely could not tell who was making the chirp.

When it came time to find a way to make his fifth-grade language class more interesting, headed by a super strict teacher, he tries to hijack classroom time by asking where words come from only to be assigned to research the topic himself and give an oral report. Nick's question and oral report became fodder for his greatest creative idea of all--to challenge the authority of language rules by inventing his own word.

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