Course Content
Class 9th Math
Online Class For 9th Standard Students (CBSE) (English Medium)
About Lesson

NCERT Textbook Questions

Thinking about the Text
(Page 10)

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

Question 1.
How old are Margie and Tommy?
Margie is eleven and Tommy is thirteen years old.

Question 2.
What did Margie write in her diary?
Margie wrote in her diary. “Today, 17 May, 2157, Tommy found a real book.”

Question 3.
Had Margie ever seen a book before?
No, Margie had never seen a book before.

Question 4.
What things about the book did she find strange?
The book had yellow and wrinkled pages.
The words of the book were still. They did not move as the words move on the computer screen. She found these things strange.

Question 5.
What do you think a telebook is?
A telebook is displayed on the television screen and the text of a telebook is similar to a book.

Question 6.
Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
Margie’s school was near her own bedroom. She did not have any classmate.

Question 7.
What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?
Margie learnt Geography and Mathematics. Tommy learnt History and Mathematics.

II. Answer the following with reference to the story.

Question 1.
“I wouldn’t throw it away.”

  1. Who says these words?
  2. What does ‘it’ refer to?
  3. What is it being compared with by the speaker?


  1. Margie says these words.
  2. It refers to that real book that Tommy found.
  3. The speaker compares it with a telebook.

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

  1. Who does ‘they’ refer to?
  2. What does ‘regular’ mean here?
  3. What is it contrasted with?


  1. ‘They’ refer to the people of the old times.
  2. Here, regular refers to the mechanical teacher then they had.
  3. It is contrasted with a normal teacher of earlier times, who was a living human being.

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

Question 1.
What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They were taught on computers and television screens. They didn’t have a living person as a teacher who would teach the pupils in a classroom.

Question 2.
Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector because the mechanical teacher was not functioning efficiently. It had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been doing worse and worse.

Question 3.
What did he do?
He slowed down the mechanical teacher’s speed upto an average ten-year level. The mechanical teacher’s speed was controlled and adjusted according to the IQ level of Margie.

Question 4.
Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her?
Margie had been doing badly in geography. This was because the mechanical teacher was very fast in displaying the questionnaire. The County Inspector adjusted its speed upto an average ten-year level. Thus, the mechanical teacher’s speed was controlled appropriately. The County Inspector assured that the overall pattern of Margie’s progress was quite satisfactory.

Question 5.
What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Tommy’s teacher was taken away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely. So, Tommy had nothing to do during that period. He only relaxed and enjoyed.

Question 6.
Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

Question 7.
How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
Tommy says that the old schools were different. They had a special building and all the kids went there to study. They laughed and shouted in the schoolyard. They enjoyed time together and learned lessons together in a classroom.

Question 8.
How does he describe the old kind of teachers?
He says that the old teachers did not live in the house. They had a special building and all the kids went there. They gave homework to students. They were not mechanical teachers, but living human beings.

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

Question 1.
What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
Margie and Tommy have mechanical teachers. They need not go to school for getting a formal education. The mechanical teacher is placed in one of the rooms of the house and they can get the knowledge of various subjects of individually from the mechanical teacher. They don’t have such classrooms where students sit together. They study from the telebooks. So they don’t require books and exercise books. The examination system is very different. They do homework in a different way. Margie has to write them out in a punch code. She leamt it when she was six years old. So the system of their education is technologically advanced and not based on printed books.

Question 2.
Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun?
Margie hated her school because she had a mechanical teacher. It was in her house. She was supposed to sit in that room alone to complete her hometask or assignments. The part Margie hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She thought that the old schools must have been fun because the students used to sit together in the classroom. They enjoyed, laughed and shouted in the schoolyard. Children needed company to enhance their skills. If they are isolated, they get depressed and dejected.

Question 3.
Do you agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story? Give reasons for your answer.
There is no doubt that today’s schools are more funny than the future school discussed in the story. This school has nothing but a mechanical teacher with no emotions and sentiments. It does not have the ability to understand the psychology of a child. Moreover, it guides a pupil according to its adjusted modes. But today’s schools work for the overall development of a child. They learn the same thing. The teaches are real human beings. They leam how to adapt themselves to the new surroundings and cope with the strangers. The students sit and leam together. These activities don’t give vent to the feelings of depression, alienation and segregation.

Thinking about language (Page 11)

I. Adverbs

Read this sentence taken from the story:

They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely. The word complete is an adjective. When you add -ly to it, it becomes an adverb.

Question 1.
Find the sentences in the lesson which match adverbs given in the box below,


awfully … and it was awfully funny… (para 1)
sorrowfully … until her mother had shaken her head sorrowfully… (para 3)
completely … the history sector had blanked out completely (para 5)
loftily He added loftily… (para 6)
carefully … pronouncing the word carefully,… (para 6)
differently … each kid has to be taught differently, (para 8)

Question 2.
Now use these adverbs to fill in the blanks in the sentences below.

  1. The report must be read ……………….. so that performance can be improved.
  2. At the interview, Sameer answered our questions ……………….., shrugging his shoulders.
  3. We all behave ……………….. when we are tired or hungry.
  4. The teacher shook her head ……………….. when Ravi lied to her.
  5. I ……………….. forgot about it.
  6. When I complimented Revathi on her success, she just smiled ……………….. and turned away.
  7. The President of the Company is ……………….. busy and will not be able to meet you.
  8. I finished my work ……………….. so that I could go out to play.


  1. carefully
  2. loftily
  3. differently
  4. sorrowfully
  5. completely
  6. nonchalantly
  7. awfully
  8. quickly
An adverb describes action. You can form adverbs by adding -ly to adjectives.
Spelling Note: When an adjective ends in -y, the y changes to i when you add -ly to form an adverb.
For example: angr-y → angr-i-ly

Question 3.
Make adverbs from these adjectives.

  1. angry …………….
  2. happy …………….
  3. merry …………….
  4. sleepy …………….
  5. easy …………….
  6. noisy …………….
  7. tidy …………….
  8. gloomy …………….


  1. angry — angrily
  2. happy — happily
  3. merry — merrily
  4. sleepy — sleepily
  5. easy — easily
  6. noisy — noisily
  7. tidy — tidily
  8. gloomy — gloomily

II. If not and Unless

• Imagine that Margie’s mother told her, “You’ll feel awful if you don’t finish your history lesson.”
• She could also say: “You’ll feel awful unless you finish your history lesson.” Unless means if not. Sentences with unless or if not are negative conditional sentences.

Notice that these sentences have two parts. The part that begins with if not or unless tells us the condition. This part has a verb in the present tense (look at the verbs don’t finish, finish in the sentences above).

The other part of the sentence tells us about a possible result. It tells us what will happen (if something else doesn’t happen). The verb in this part of the sentence is in the future tense (you ’ll feelI you will feel).

Notice these two tenses again in the following examples:

Future Tense Present Tense
• There won’t be any books left unless we preserve them.
• You won’t leam your lessons if

you don’t

• Tommy will have an accident unless he drives more slowly.

Question 1.
Complete the following conditional sentences. Use the correct form of the verb.

  1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight,
  2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food,
  3. Unless you promise to write back, I
  4. If she doesn’t play any games,
  5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat


  1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, she will get annoyed.
  2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, you will miss your evening meal.
  3. Unless you promise to write back, I shall keep requesting you.
  4. If she does not play any games, she will become lethargic and unfit.
  5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat will pounce on it.

Writing (Page 12)

A new revised volume of Isaac Asimov’s short stories has just been released. Order one set. Write a letter to the publisher, Mindfame Private Limited, 1632 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi, requesting that a set be sent to you by Value Payable Post (VPP), and giving your address. Your letter will have the following parts.

  • Addresses of the sender and receiver
  • The salutation
  • The body of the letter
  • The closing phrases and signature Your letter might look like this:

Your address ……………………………………..
Date ………………. (DD/MM/YY)
The addressee’s address
Dear Sir/Madam,
Yours sincerely,
Your signature

Remember that the language of a formal letter is different from the colloquial style of personal letters. For example, contracted forms such as ‘I’ve’ or ‘can’t’ are not used.


516, Sec. 15
11 Oct, 20XX
M/s, Mindfame Private Ltd.
1632, Asaf Ali Road New Delhi

Sub: Request for the new volume of Isaac Asimov’s short stories.


I just came to know that a new revised volume of Isaac Asimov’s short stories has just been released. I will be very grateful if you send one set of this volume as early as possible at my mailing address.

Yours faithfully,
Rahim Khan

1. A DD for Rs 2000/- (State Bank of India, DD No. 131205 payable at New Delhi).

Speaking (Page 14)

In groups of four discuss the following topic.

‘The Schools of the Future Will Have No Books and No Teachers! ’

Your group can decide to speak for or against the motion. After this, each group will select a speaker to present its views to the entire class.

You may find the following phrases useful to present your argument in the debate.

  • In my opinion . . .
  • I/we fail to understand why . . .
  • I wholeheartedly support/oppose the view that . . .
  • At the outset let me say . . .
  • I’d/we’d like to raise the issue of/argue against. . .
  • I should like to draw attention to . . .
  • My/our worthy opponent has submitted that . . .
  • On the contrary . . .
  • I firmly reject . . .

In favour of the motion.

The schools of the future will have no books and no teachers because of . . .

  1. the emerging computer and digital technologies.
  2. the widespread availability of the internet links.
  3. the innovative educational and application software.
  4. the parents attitudinal changes.
  5. the non-availability of skilled, competent and experienced teachers.
  6. considerable emphasis on vocational courses.
  7. the pupils’ broader perspective.
  8. the modern and latest electronic gadgets.
  9. ingenious invention of educational CD’s and TV programmes.
  10. excessive wastage of stationery.

Against the motion.

The schools of the future will have no books. As a result,

  1. the modem students will become the slaves of machines.
  2. the teachers will be replaced by mechanical instructors.
  3. the educationists will not intend to teach the students humanity and ethics.
  4. the modern man will become materialistic and commercial.
  5. the human beings will have no sentiments and human values.
  6. the students will become arrogant and indisciplined.
  7. the future of posterity is in dark.
  8. the students will have no respect for their parents, elders and peers.
  9. the feelings of fraternity will be no more.
  10. the harmonious growth of a child will have no significance.

Extract Based Questions (3 marks each)

Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

Question 1:
“Today Tommy found a real book!”
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. (SA-1,2014-15)

  1. The old book was found by ………….
  2. Margie was surprised to see the book because ……….
  3. Pick out a word from the following which means ‘small’:
    (a) old
    (b) once
    (c) little
    (d) very


  1. Tommy
  2. all the stories were printed on paper
  3. Little

Question 2:
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.

  1. Why the pages of the book were yellow ?
  2. Did Margie see the book for the first time ?
  3. Trace a word from the passage that means ‘with many folds or lines’.(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-014)


  1. The pages of the book were yellow because the book was quite old.
  2. Yes, Margie saw the book for the first time.
  3. Crinkly.

Question 3:
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 because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

  1. Where was Margie’s schoolroom ?
  2. Explain ‘mechanical teacher was on’.
  3. Write the opposite of ‘regular’. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-022)


  1. Margie’s school room was next to her bedroom.
  2. Computer was on.
  3. Irregular.

Question 4:
“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.

  1. Who is ‘he’ in the above lines ?
  2. “Our kind of school.” What kind of school they have ?
  3. Trace the word from the extract that means “in a superior way”.(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-031)


  1. ‘He’ in the above lines is Tommy.
  2. They have future classrooms with mechanical teachers.
  3. Loftily.

Question 5:
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.

  1. Why did Tommy call Margie stupid ?
  2. What does ‘they’ here refer to ?
  3. Find the word which means “in a superior way”. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-034)


  1. Tommy called Margie stupid because she was too ignorant.
  2. ‘They’ here refers to the students of centuries ago.
  3. Loftily.

Question 6:
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 neighbourhoods 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 that they could help one another with the home work and talk about it.

  1. Which school is Margie thinking about in the above lines ?
  2. What is the advantage of those old schools ?
  3. Which word in the passage means “breathing out deeply” ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-036)


  1. Margie is thinking about the school of her grandfather’s grandfather when he was a little boy.
  2. The advantage of the old school was that everyone used to learn the same thing and could help each other in the homework. The children could go and come together also.
  3. Sigh

Short Answer Type Questions (2 marks each)
(About 30-40 words each)

Question 1:
How was the book that Tommy found different from his own books ? (SA-1,2014)
The book that Tommy found was an old, real book which belonged to his grandfather’s grandfather. It had crinkly, yellow pages whereas, Tommy’s books were telebooks by mechanical teachers, computers.

Question 2:
What kind of book did Tommy show to Margie ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-013)
The book that Tommy showed to Margie was an old, real book which belonged to his grandfather’s.
It had crinkly yellow pages, where all the stories were printed on paper and the words stood still.

Question 3:
Why did Margie hope that the County Inspector would take away her mechanical teacher ?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-016)
Margie hoped that the County Inspector would take away her mechanical teacher because she had performed poorly in all the geography tests and had developed a strong disliking for the school.

Question 4:
Tommy thought the old books were funny and a big waste. Why ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-017)
Tommy thought that the old books were a waste because the words stood still and did not run. He also thought that they were a big waste because they could not be reused like the screen of their mechanical teacher.

Question 5:
What did County Inspector do to improve Margie’s performance ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-018)
The County Inspector found that the geography sector had been geared too quick. He slowed it up to an average 10-years level. He found the overall pattern of Margie quite satisfactory.

Question 6:
What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-019)
Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers, computer, and telebooks. Their school had. no separate building. They had robotic teachers showing lessons and testing papers. Their teachers were always on and kept waiting for them.

Question 7:
Why did Margie hate school ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-020)
Margie hated school, which was a room in her house only, because her teacher was a mechanical one. It kept giving her test papers where answers had to be written as punch codes. The results were given instantaneously.

Question 8:
What differences do you find in present school and the school described in the lesson ‘The Fun They Had’ ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-021)
In present day schools, students study together in a separate building and teachers are human beings whereas, in the lesson the school was at home and the teacher was mechanical.

Question 9:
How does Tommy describe the old kind of teachers ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-025)
Earlier, the teachers were not mechanical teachers, they taught the children in a special building where all children went to learn. They asked questions and gave them home work.

Question 10:
Why did Margie find the book strange ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-026)
The book had yellow and crinkly pages and the words standing still unlike moving on a screen. When they turned back to the pages read before, there were the same words on it when they read it the first time. All these things were strange for Margie.

Question 11:
Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector ? What did he do ?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-028)
Margie was not performing well in her geography tests. The County Inspector took the teacher apart and put it together again as its geography sector was geared a little too quick.

Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
(About 80-100 words each)

Question 1:
In spite of all comforts and luxuries in today’s world, our grandparents still cherish their own time when life was quite tough. Give your own views regarding this in 80-100 words.(Board Term, Sept. 2013,9KK73AP)
Our grand parents lived during the years of 1950s to 1970s. At that time life was very simple yet tough. They had time to explore the surroundings and the world. They had parks to play with less of pollution around them. Mechanical gadgets were there but were used only for necessary activities. There were rivers where they could go for picnics and treks without the fear of being getting any allergy. The school was more of a fun place where they met their friends. They studied but were not competing against each other. For them togetherness was important rather than competition.
In today’s world we are competiting against our friends. We have all the facilities of life but we do not have time for our family and friends. We like to play but on computers and play station rather than with our sibilings and friends.

Question 2:
How was Margie’s school different from the schools that existed hundreds of years ago ?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-030)
Margie’s school was at home. She had a mechanical teacher, telebooks, no other students were there in the class and work was fed in by the mechanical teacher by punch codes. Whereas, the old schools had proper buildings, many students, human teachers who gave homework and asked questions. Everyone learned the same things and books were of paper. So, it is clearly visible that Margie’s school was totally different from the schools that existed hundreds of years ago.

Question 3:
How is Margie’s school different from a normal school ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-038)
Margie’s school had a room installed with a computer from which she used to learn the lessons. There were no teachers to teach die students. No homework was given to the students. The computers gave them tests and the results were given instantly. There was no one to do the corrections or solve their problems. There were no classmates even. So, Margie’s school was very different from a normal school.

Value Based Question(4 marks each)

Question 1:
‘Machines can’t replace human beings.’ Explain this in 80-100 words with reference to the Lesson ‘The Fun They Had’. [SA-1, DDE-2014]
In context of the lesson ‘The Fun They Had’ do you think mechanical teachers or computer instructors cannot replace humans as teachers.
A teacher not only has to teach and explain things but also has to understand the mindset of the students. A computer instructor will only be able to deliver the lesson but will not be able to understand the problems of the students. A teacher (human) emotionally connects to the students to make the child comfortable but this is not the case with a mechanical teacher. Teaching can be best done by a person because then only will they be able to pass on the correct values and lessons to the students.

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