Detailed explanation of “The Fun they Had”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
The story is a fictional account of how the schools and books will be in the future. It compares the educational system of today with that of the future.
It is based on a young girl, Margie’s diary entry dated 17th May, 2157. In future, students will be taught alone at their homes in a room called the ‘Schoolroom’. The human teachers of today’s era will be replaced by mechanical teachers in which speed can be quickened and slowed down as per the need of a student.
The characters of the story learn about the education system of the past and want to be a part of that. They do not like the mechanical teachers of their era which lack human interaction and fun. They rejoice at the feeling of being taught by a human teacher and wish to go to a school together with fellow students.
Margie, a 11 year little girl wrote a diary entry dated 17th May, 2157, titled “Today Tommy found a real book!. It was a very old book. Once Margie’s grandfather had told her about the time when all stories were printed on paper. Tommy found the book in the attic of his house. Margie and Tommy turned the pages of the book, which were yellow and crinkly (wrinkled). Margie found it funny to read the book as the words in it were not moving like they moved on her telebook.
Tommy, a 13 year old boy, called the book a waste because after one time reading, it could be thrown away. They compared the book with their television screen which could have a million books on it and still had space for more. It was same for Margie , though she had not seen many telebooks. She asked him where he had found that book. He replied that he found in his attic. Tommy told Margie that the book he found was about the school, but Margie showed no interest as Margie hated her school and her mechanical teacher. Her mechanical teacher was large, black and ugly and had a big screen. All the lessons were shown on the screen and the questions were asked.
Margie hated the slot where she had to put her homework and test papers daily. She had to write them in a punch code which she had learned when she was 6 years old. The mechanical teacher gave Margie test continuously in geography. She had not been doing well in the tests. Margie’s mother, Mrs. Jones, was worried about the poor performance of Margie in the tests. So, she called the County Inspector to come and find out if there was something wrong with the mechanical teacher.
The County Inspector was a round little man, with red face. He carried a box of tools, dials and wires. He smiled at Margie and gave her an apple. He took the television teacher away. Margie hoped that the County Inspector would not be able to fix the mechanical teacher and would take it with him. She was hoping this as Tommy’s teacher was taken away by the Inspector for one month when there was a problem with history sector. But after one hour it was brought again before her with its big screen.
The Inspector smiled and patted Margie’s head. The County Inspector took the mechanical teacher out. He told Margie’s mother, that it was not the fault of Margie. In fact, the geography section was little too quick for Margie to read and understand. He had fixed the geography section by slowing down the speed according to the level of a 10 year-old child. He also told that the overall performance of Margie had been quite satisfactory.
Tommy had a discussion with Margie after reading the book which described the schools of the past. Margie said that she would not want a strange man to live in her house and teach her. Tommy told her that the teachers do not live in the house as mechanical teachers lived. That was a kind of old school which they had hundreds and hundreds years ago. The schools in the past were located in special buildings away from the students houses. The students were taught by human teachers. All the kids of the same age learnt the same thing. But Margie said that as per her mother a teacher had to be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it taught. So each kid had to be taught differently .The teacher taught them lessons, asked questions and gave them homework.
Margie wanted to know more about those funny schools but it was the time for both Tommy and Margie to their school. So they decided to read the book later. Tommy walked away. He had put the dusty book under his arm. Margie’s school room was located next to her bedroom in her house. Her mechanical teacher was turned on when her school time started. Her school was open everyday except on Saturday and Sunday because her mother believed that little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours. The mechanical teacher was going to teach her a lesson on arithmetic about the addition of proper tractions but she was not interested in studying.
Margie put her home work in a slot as commanded by the mechanical teacher. She was thinking about the old schools where all the kids came laughing and shouting in the schoolyard and sat together in the schoolroom. They were taught by human teachers, learnt the same things and helped each other in their homework. The mechanical teacher was flashing a question of fractions on the screen but Margie was thinking of the fun kids had the school in the past.
(1) What did the grandfather of Margie say?
(2) Why did Tommy call the book a waste ?
(3) What did Margie write in her diary and when? What was so surprising in writing that in her diary?
(4) What was the condition of book that Tommy had found? What was so funny about it ?
(5) How did Tommy react after seeing the real book?
(6) Why did Margie hate school? what kind was it ?
(7) What did Margie think after inserting her homework in the paper slot?
(8) Why was the Country Inspector sent for? What did the country inspector do at first?
(9) How did Margie learn her lessons on the mechanical teacher?
(10) What did the Inspector tell Margie’s mother about the mechanical teacher?
(11) Why was Margie disappointed?
(12) What does Tommy tell Margie about schools?
(13) What did Margie think of old schools?
(14) What was so charming about the old schools that Margie continued to think even when her mechanical teacher was flashing?
(15) What hope did Margie have when her mechanical teacher was taken apart? Did it come true?
(16) what was the difference between the schools of future and that of the past?
(17) Did Margie have a liking for mechanical teachers?
(18) How would you access a mechanical teacher in comparison to a human teacher?
|crinkly||with many folds or lines|
|awfully funny||very funny|
|stood still||were not moving|
|gee||exclamation of surprise|
|you’re through with||you have read|
with utmost disgust
a local person whose job is to repair robots
|took the teacher||
opened the inside of the robot
|put it together||
method of giving answers by punching holes in paper
adjusted to a particular standard or level
in a superior way
not showing much of interest or enthusiasm; carelessly
|with a sigh||