Frindle Extension Activity
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
About this book
1. Nick gets the idea for inventing a new word partly from a word he used as a baby, gwagala - his word for music. Are there words that you invented as a baby, before you could read and learn the actual words? If you can't remember, ask your parents or brother or sisters.
Have students conduct "interviews" with their families to find out what kind of words they used as babies. They might be surprised by what they find out. The next day in class, you can play a game by listing the words on the board - without the meaning - and having the rest of the class try and guess what the word describes.
2. Draw a picture that will serve as an advertisement for a frindle. What will it look like - an ordinary pen, or something more unique? Come up with a catchy phrase so people will start using it. What famous people or celebrities might you get to endorse it?
Use elements from the story in the advertisement: Show, perhaps, an angry Mrs. Granger disapproving of the use of frindle or all the kids staying after school writing with a frindle. The tag line could be: "If you have to write the same word over and over again as punishment, wouldn't you rather do it with a frindle than a pen"? Have the students think of the celebrities that would be least likely to endorse a frindle and incorporate them into the ads.
3. Do you have any teachers like Mrs. Granger, who made life difficult for you as a student, but whom you came to appreciate later on? What important lessons did they teach you that you didn't want to learn? How did their being strict pay off for you? Write a letter to an old teacher, like Nick does, telling them all the important things you got out of their class. You don't have to send it, of course, but see if you surprise yourself with how much you actually learned from them.
Students might need some help coming up with the teachers that weren't the most popular or the ones they liked the most, but the ones who challenged them, made life a bit difficult by pushing them to be creative, to work and try harder. Discuss, again, the importance of a teacher like Mrs. Granger, who may seem strict and challenges Nick, but who, in the end, provides the crucial motivation for Nick to keep going in his campaign for his new word. In the letter, students can remind their former teachers how much progress they've made since they were in their class.