Stories The Fun They Had – Class 9 English

Stories The Fun They Had READ:

The Fun They Had and Poem The Road Not Taken. We have covered each and every question of Chapter 1 of the English textbook Beehive. It is a must to be thorough with the textbooks so as to move on to reference books. Students can refer to these NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English and have a better understanding of answering the questions precisely.

Stories The Fun They Had
Stories The Fun They Had

Stories The Fun They Had Introduction:

The story we shall read is set in the future when books and schools as we now know them will perhaps not exist. How
will children study then? The diagram below may give you some ideas.

In pairs, discuss three things that you like best about your school and three things about your school that you would
like to change. Write them down.

Have you ever read words on a television (or computer) screen? Can you imagine a time when all books will be on computers, and there will be no books printed on paper? Would you like such books better?

Stories The Fun They Had Explanation: -I)

MARGIE even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed 17 May 2157, she wrote, “Today Tommy found a real book!”

Stories The Fun They Had
Stories The Fun They Had

It was a very old book. Margie’s grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfather told him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.

They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to — on a screen, you know. And then when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.

Stories The Fun They Had – II)

“Gee,” said Tommy, “what a waste. When you’re through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it’s good for plenty more. I wouldn’t throw it away.”

“Same with mine,” said Margie. She was eleven and hadn’t seen as many tale books as Tommy had. He was thirteen.

She said, “Where did you find it?”

“In my house.” He pointed without looking because he was busy reading. “In the attic.”

“What’s it about?”


Stories The Fun They Had -III)

Margie was scornful. “School? What’s there to write about school? I hate school.”

Margie always hated school, but now she hated it more than ever. The mechanical teacher had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been doing worse and worse until her mother had shaken her head sorrowfully and sent for the County Inspector.

Stories The Fun They Had -IV)

He was a round little man with a red face and a whole box of tools with dials and wires. He smiled at Margie and gave her an apple, then took the teacher apart. Margie had hoped he wouldn’t know how to put it together again, but he knew how all right, and, after an hour or so, there it was again, large and black and ugly, with a big screen on which all the lessons were shown and the questions were asked.

That wasn’t so bad. The part Margie hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She always had to write them out in a punch code they made her learn when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculated the marks in no time.

Stories The Fun They Had -V)

The Inspector had smiled after he was finished and patted Margie’s head. He said to her other, “It’s not the little girl’s fault, Mrs Jones. I think the geography sector was geared a little too quick. Those things happen sometimes. I’ve slowed it up to an average ten-year level.

Actually, the overall pattern of her progress is quite satisfactory.” And he patted Margie’s head again.

Margie was disappointed. She had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether. They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely. So she said to Tommy, “Why would anyone write about school?”

Stories The Fun They Had -VI)

Tommy looked at her with very superior eyes. “Because it’s not our kind of school, stupid. This is the old kind of school that they had hundreds and hundreds of years ago.” He added loftily, pronouncing the word carefully, “Centuries ago.”

Stories The Fun They Had
Stories The Fun They Had

Margie was hurt. “Well, I don’t know what kind of school they had all that time ago.” She read the book over his shoulder for a while, then said, “Anyway, they had a teacher.”

“Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man.”

“A man? How could a man be a teacher?”

“Well, he just told the boys and girls things and gave them homework and asked them questions.”

Stories The Fun They Had -VII)

“A man isn’t smart enough.”

“Sure he is. My father knows as much as my teacher.”

“He knows almost as much, I betcha.”

Margie wasn’t prepared to dispute that. She said, “I wouldn’t want a strange man in my house to
teach me.”

Tommy screamed with laughter. “You don’t know much, Margie. The teachers didn’t live in the
house. They had a special building and all the kids went there.”

“And all the kids learned the same thing?” “Sure, if they were the same age.”

Stories The Fun They Had -VIII)

“But my mother says a teacher has to be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it teaches and that
each kid has to be taught differently.”

“Just the same they didn’t do it that way then. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read the book.”

“I didn’t say I didn’t like it,” Margie said quickly. She wanted to read about those funny schools.

They weren’t even half-finished when Margie’s mother called, “Margie! School!”

Margie looked up. “Not yet, Mamma.”

“Now!” said Mrs Jones. “And it’s probably time for Tommy, too.”

Margie said to Tommy, “Can I read the book some more with you after school?”

Stories The Fun They Had -IX)

“Maybe,” he said nonchalantly. He walked away whistling, the dusty old book tucked beneath his arm.

Margie went into the schoolroom. It was right next to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her. It was always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday

Stories The Fun They Had
Stories The Fun They Had

because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

The screen was lit up, and it said: “Today’s arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions. Please insert yesterday’s homework in the proper slot.”

Stories The Fun They Had -X)

Margie did so with a sigh. She was thinking about the old schools they had when her grandfather’s grandfather was a little boy. All the kids from the whole neighbourhood came, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day.

They learned the same things, so they could help one another with the homework and talk about it.

And the teachers were people…..The mechanical teacher was flashing on the screen: “When we add fractions ½ and ¼…”

Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days. She was thinking about the fun they had.

Stories The Fun They Had

I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

1)How old are Margie and Tommy?

Ans: Margie and Tommy live in the future, in the year 2157. They are neighbours and spend time together. Margie is a girl of eleven years of age while Tommy is a boy of thirteen.

2) What did Margie write in her diary?

Ans: On 17 May 2157, Margie wrote that that day Tommy had found a real book in the attic of his house. It was an old book with yellow, crinkly pages.

3) Had Margie ever seen a book before?

Ans: No, Margie had not seen a book before the one found by Tommy in his house. She had only heard from her grandfather that his grandfather went to school as a boy and that they read books that were printed on paper.

4) What things about the book did she find strange?

Ans: As Margie lived in an era where students studied from a mechanical teacher and all the books appeared on the screen, she found it strange that the words on the printed book did not move. It was strange to see the same words appear on the pages as she flipped them over.

5) What do you think a tale book is?

Ans: A tale book is an electronic book also known as an e-book. It is stored in a computer and can be read by scrolling up or down the screen.

6) Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?

Ans: Margie’s school was in her house. It was a room next to her bedroom. It was a personal classroom where the computer was adjusted to her level of learning. She studied by herself and had no classmates.

7) What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?

Ans: Margie and Tommy learnt a lot of subjects like Geography, History and Mathematics.

Answer the following with reference to the story.

1) “I wouldn’t throw it away.”

(i) Who says these words?

Ans: Tommy says these words.

(ii) What does ‘it’ refer to?

Ans: ‘It’ refers to the Computer screen on which Tommy reads various books.

(iiI) What is it being compared with by the speaker?

Ans: ‘It’ is being compared to the paper book that Tommy found in his house.

2. “Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man.”

(i) Who does ‘they’ refer to?

Ans: ‘They’ refers to the ancestors of the children who went to school and studied from a human teacher.

(ii) What does ‘regular’ mean here?

Ans: ‘Regular’ means the mechanical teacher who teaches Margie and Tommy.

(iii) What is it contrasted with?

Ans: The mechanical teacher is contrasted with a human teacher.

Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).

1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?

Ans: Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They were computers that had preloaded lessons on different subjects according to the learner’s level. Whenever they malfunctioned, they were opened and repaired.

2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?

Ans:  Margie’s mother called the County Inspector to check Margie’s teacher. She thought that probably, Margie’s teacher had a malfunction. Margie was failing the Geography tests repeatedly which could be due to a fault in the teacher.

3. What did he do?

The County Inspector was trained to repair the computer teacher. He opened the machine and checked it. The Geography sector was set on a higher level. He reset it to Margie’s level and closed the teacher.

4. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector Do to help her

Ans: Margie was failing in the Geography tests as the teacher had developed a fault. The County Inspector told Margie’s mother that Margie was not at fault. Her progress was good. He reset the teacher to Margie’s level.

5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?

Ans: Once Tommy’s teacher had developed a fault as the entire section on History had been deleted. His teacher had been taken for repairs and it took them a month to set it right.

6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?

Ans: Margie studied at the same time every day, except Saturdays and Sundays. Her mother was very particular and had told Margie that she would learn better if she studied at the same time every day.

7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?

Ans: Tommy said that in the old kind of schools, there was a man teacher who told a few things to the students, gave them homework and then asked them questions. The man teacher was as knowledgeable as the machine teacher.

8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?

Ans: He says that the old teachers were not the regular kind they had. They were human beings and not machines.

Stories The Fun They Had

Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words).

1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?

Ans: Margie and Tommy were taught by mechanical teachers. They had large black screens on which the lessons appeared. The lessons were followed by questions. The students had to insert homework and test papers in the slots provided.

They had to write down the work in a punch code which was a computing language.

The mechanical teacher checked the papers and gave them marks within a few seconds. These classrooms were in the student’s home itself. Every student studied from his respective mechanical teacher. Each teacher was adjusted according to the level of the learner.

They did not have classmates. They studied various subjects like Geography, History and Mathematics. Margie studied every day at the same time except Saturdays and Sundays. Her mother said that she would learn better if she studied that way.

The learning process was mechanical, dull and boring for them.

2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun

Ans: Margie hated school because it was not fun. There was a mechanical teacher and the learning process lacked life. It was like a machine carrying out the usual work, there was nothing new, no fun or laughter.  

Margie’s mechanical teacher was giving her tests in Geography and she was performing badly at them. Later it was discovered that the teacher had developed a fault due to which it was giving her tests of a higher level.

Margie’s mother called the County Inspector. He opened the teacher, found the fault and rectified it. Margie disliked the teacher and hoped that he would not be able to repair it. She hated inserting the homework and test papers into the slot provided.

Stories The Fun They Had
Stories The Fun They Had

Stories The Fun They Had


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