Nick Allen is a student at Lincoln Elementary School. He was a troublemaker. Once, in Year 3, he turned the classroom into a tropical island. The teacher liked it and thought Nick was creative, but the Head teacher did not.
In Year 4, Nick watched TV and learnt about blackbirds. In class, during silent reading time, he made a ‘peep!’ sound. The teacher thought it was Janet Fisk. At lunchtime, Nick talked to Janet because he felt bad. He apologised (said sorry) to Janet, but she was OK.
Nick was now in Year 5. The language arts teacher was Mrs. Granger. Mrs. Granger had a reputation: she was a very demanding teacher. She was never absent to classes. She wore a uniform every day. Mrs. Granger was very short, but her eyes made her look like a giant. All the kids at school thought Mrs. Granger had X-ray vision.
Mrs. Granger loved dictionaries. She gave students a “word for the day” to learn. She made students study vocabulary lists. She had 30 (thirty) dictionaries in the classroom. Every summer before school, Mrs. Granger sent every family a letter asking them to have a dictionary at home. Nick’s mum liked that Mrs. Granger took her work seriously.
The first day of school Mrs. Granger checked the meaning of some words and they revised some things. Nick Allen had a trick. Every time the teacher wanted to give the students homework, he asked a guaranteed time waster question to make the teacher forget the homework. When Mrs Granger was going to give the homework, Nick raised his hand and asked her “Where do all words come from?” (What is the origin of words?). Nick’s classmates smiled. They knew what Nick was doing.
Mrs. Granger knew what Nick was doing, too. She thought it was an interesting question and asked the other students if they wanted to know. Then, she asked Nicholas to prepare an oral report for next class. Mrs. Granger smiled and told the students the homework. Nick was nervous. He had an extra assignment.
At home, there was a rule: “Homework First”. Nick prepared his oral presentation. He looked for words in the dictionary. He looked for definitions and the origins of words. At school, it was time for Mrs. Granger’s class, so Nick got ready for his presentation. At first, he was nervous because he was confused by all the information. Mrs. Granger was looking at him and paying a lot of attention. He started talking, but Mrs. Granger interrupted him. She wanted Nick to give a title to his presentation. Nick continued. The title he chose was “The Dictionary”. Nick’s classmates were not interested in Nick’s presentation, but Nick continued. Nick talked for long time and Mrs. Granger smiled. Nick realised that he could continue talking for more time, and the kids realised what Nick was doing. He was wasting time! They started asking questions. Mrs. Granger stopped him. Then, she continued with the class. Nick asked another question: “Who says d-o-g means dog?” Mrs Granger replied, “you do”, but he didn’t understand what she meant.