Discussion Topic

Nick's interactions with Mrs. Granger and Mrs. Chatham in Frindle

Summary:

In Frindle, Nick's interactions with Mrs. Granger and Mrs. Chatham highlight his cleverness and determination. Mrs. Granger is initially strict and opposes Nick's creation of the word "frindle," but she ultimately respects his creativity. Mrs. Chatham, the school principal, is concerned about the disruption caused by the word but is also impressed by Nick's ingenuity. Both adults recognize Nick's potential despite their initial resistance.

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In Frindle, why was Nick's conversation with Mrs. Granger surprising?

Nick Allen enters Mrs. Granger's fifth grade class at the beginning of the year intending to keep up his same old antics.  One thing that he frequently does is ask unnecessary questions in class to waste time.  He calls these questions "teacher-stoppers."  In previous years, these types of questions worked.  

Mrs. Granger is famous for loving dictionaries and words.  Nick knows this, so he is quick to ask her where all the words in the dictionary come from.  Mrs. Granger immediately sees the reason for Nick's time-wasting question.  She responds by assigning him an oral report on the topic, which is due the next day.  Nick is surprised by her response.  Teachers do not normally see through his time-wasting questions.  Not only does Mrs. Granger know why Nick is asking the question, but she also assigns him a difficult research project.  His plan does not work out at all the way he intends.  He realizes that what the other kids in school say is true.  No one messes with Mrs. Granger.

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In Frindle, why did Mrs. Chatham think Nick disrespected Mrs. Granger?

Nick Allen had been causing quite a stir at school. He had decided to start calling pens "frindles." His idea caught on, and soon many kids at his elementary school were also using his newly invented word. Mrs. Granger was not pleased with this. She was Nick's teacher, and she was a proper lady. She believed in doing things a certain way. She did not like what the children in her class were doing.

Mrs. Chatham, the school's principal, decided to pay a visit to Nick's parents. She explained the situation to them, as well as Nick's role in it. She thought using this new word despite Mrs. Granger's wishes was showing a "lack of respect for authority" (Chapter 9). She told Nick's parents that the children should stop using the word "frindle" because it was not a real word, and therefore was not acceptable to Mrs. Granger.

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