Frindle by Andrew Clements

Brief Outline:
Make Book Club t-shirts for the year.
Play chess
Book Talk

Make Book Club t-shirts for the year
This is a fun activity that is keeps the boys busy while you wait for all boys to arrive. Book club T-shirts help the boys feel like they are apart of a real club. Plus they come in handy for future book club field trips.

( I used pre-washed White-T shirts and prepared the shirts with fabric paint and a sliced potato to make the face shapes. That way, on book club day boys just decorated their face with eyes, hair, optional hat. The trick is .. they had to decorate a face on each T-shirt! So I set it up in an assembly line. Half the boys worked on shirts while the other half played Chess. As T-shirt boys finished up they rotated and played chess. Everyone had a turn to play chess & decorate faces on each shirt.)

Play Chess
I was surprised. I didn't think my 9 year old would be able to sit still long enough to learn the rules of Chess but he loves it! As boys arrive- I sent them to the T-shirt station first. Only 2-3 boys at the T-shirt so the remainder of them played Chess first. If you don't have a chess set- don't worry. I found a site that has printable pieces and game boards. Make enough so each boy can take a set home and play with his family!
Printable Chess:

(Below is what the print outs look like: )

(The boys in my group are also in Cub Scouts- learning to play Chess is an Academic Belt Loop. So not only did they learn a new game, have fun at book club, they also earned a belt loop in scouting! Check out the requirements for belt loops on

Book Talk
After everyone has had a chance to complete their faces on all the T-shirts and play chess, I gathered them around to talk about the book. (I made "Muddy Buddies", but you can provide chips, cheese & crackers, pretzels, just light finger foods to snack on while boys discuss.)

Is Mrs. Granger a hard teacher? a strict teacher compared to yours?
Do you have to do your homework right after school like Nick? Let the boys talk about when they do homework.
What inspired Nick to make up a new word? Have you ever made up a word? (If one of your boys has younger siblings ask them to share about words babies make up.)
Do you think Nick did anything wrong or disrespectful?
After the boys have played a little chess- ask them to compare the struggle with Nick and making/using the word "frindle" to a chess game. Does that make more sense now?(pg 54) You can read or have one of the boys read this section of the book.
Were you surprised in the end that Mrs. Granger was really trying to help Nick all along? Do you believe that? How did she help him along?


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