Chapter 1 - Words from Saint Patrick School in Camrose - Excited, It, Tiger, High

The school buzzer sounded and Henry was very excited to return to school for the first day of Grade 4. He felt sure he would have a really nice teacher this year. At least, he felt sure until right now. Here he stood, in front of the class lists tacked high on the bulletin board, looking for his name. As he looked down the lists, he saw his name under the new teacher, “Mr. Tiger.” That name made him wonder if Grade 4 was going to be a good idea after all. It sent a shiver down his spine. What kind of a person is named, “Mr. Tiger?” Was he going to be all hairy? Did he have sharp nails? And what did he eat for lunch? Henry was full of questions.


Chapter 2 - Aurora School, Drayton Valley - Words Marvellous, Eye, Ran, See

Henry continued to wonder about the new school year. He felt a strange mix of nervousness and curiosity as he came to the door of his classroom and stepped inside. Quietly, Henry found his desk and waved at Tommy. He noticed how quiet everyone was in the room. All the students were watching the back of their new teacher as he wrote his name on the whiteboard. “My name is Mr. T-i-g-e-r,” he said as he spelled his name in big orange letters.

As the teacher turned around, Henry could see this was going to be an interesting year. Mr. Tiger had a glass eye and it didn’t always follow his other eye. The other eerie thing was that Mr. Tiger had a big smile that started at one ear and ran right across his face to the other ear.

Just then, the classroom door slammed open and in walked Ricky. The class groaned and Henry immediately checked to make sure his lunch bag was safe. Things has a way of disappearing when Ricky appeared. Perhaps this was not going to be a marvellous year after all. Ricky meant trouble.


Chapter 3 - Fox Creek Children's Indoor Playground Society - Words - Star, Butterfly, Hunting, Truck

As soon as the school’s morning announcements were finished, Mr. Tiger began to speak. He didn’t sound loud like a tiger, but more like a normal person. Mr. Tiger bent down, picked up a box from under his desk and placed it on the table for all the students to see. On the front of the box, written in big red letters was, “Mystery Box.” Instantly, Mr. Tiger had their attention. The students leaned forward to watch him lifting the lid and hunting inside the box. He found and removed two items: as star, and a picture of a butterfly.

The star was shaped like a sheriff’s badge. Mr. Tiger said each week one student would wear the badge and be his classroom deputy. Henry wondered what that would be like and what the classroom deputy would do.

Next Mr. Tiger spoke about the butterfly picture. He explained that the butterfly had once been a caterpillar and that it had changed to be a butterfly.” Just like the butterfly,” he said, “you will all change this year.” Mr. Tiger taped the picture above the door to remind the students that change is normal.

Suddenly there was a loud ZOOOOMMM! VAROOOMMMMM! sound outside as the largest truck Henry had ever seen went by their classroom window.


Chapter 4 École Providence School - McLennan - Words - Marvelous, Spectacular, Awesome, Cool

Henry and his classmates all leapt from their desks and pressed their faces to the cool glass of the window. Eagerly, they watched as the truck stopped in front of the school. Two men got out of the truck, spoke to each other excitedly, waving their arms in the air and pointing at the school. Then one of the men checked to see that the doors at the back of the truck were securely locked before they walked away.

Now Mr. Tiger called the classroom back to order. "You'll all know soon enough about the marvellous secret inside the truck. But now you will please be seated and take out your Language Arts folders." And with that , the children had to return to their desks. Henry would have continued to wonder what was in the truck but Mr. Tiger did something that shocked the whole class. He sneezed! Not an ordinary sneeze, but a sneeze so enormous, his glass eye popped right out and rolled across the floor! "Awesome! " cheered Henry. "Spectacular!" chimed in Tommy. Giggles and gasps were heard throughout the classroom as Mr. Tiger followed, then picked up his glass eye from between the rows of desks. When he straightened up again, he surprised everyone even more by saying "This is what you will write about today." He held up his glass eye for everyone to see.


Chapter 5 - C.J. Schurter School, Slave Lake - Words - Pizza, Frog, Care, Fantastic

The room was abuzz with excitement. Some students wanted to see and touch the glass eye. Others squirmed at the thought. What a fantastic writing assignment, though Henry. His head was bursting with ideas. The students soon settled down, taking great care in creating their stories about the runaway eye.

It seemed no time before the recess bell rang. The students bolted from their desks and clamored to be first outside to investigate the enormous truck. Students began trying to guess the contents of the truck.

"I think it's pizza!" shouted someone.

"No, it's a swimming pool," proposed another.

"No way," countered Ricky, coming around the far side of the truck. She had been looking all around it for a way to peek in. "It stinks. I bet it's full of frogs. Big warty frogs!"

"Eeeewwww! Gross!" cried the girls.

"Yeah frogs!" cheered the boys.

The guessing was interrupted by the shrill sound of the school bell calling them back to class.


Chapter 6 - Westlock School Grades K-3

Eight words (from two presentations): bicycle, awesome, books, possible, hippopotamus, gregarious, stupendous, giganotosaurus

Students were just settling back into their desks when Mr. Tiger asked everyone to take out their books for the science lesson.

“Frogs!” shrieked Janice.

“Really Janice,” chided Mr. Tiger as he began writing on the whiteboard. “You’re quite right, we are studying amphibians, but I hardly think your response is…”

Mr. Tiger’s reprimand was cut short as Janice jumped onto her chair and shrieked again. “EEEEEEEeeeeee! Frogs!”

From inside her desk hopped three large green frogs. Chaos erupted in the classroom as some students pressed in for a better view and others scrambled to get away from the source of excitement. Only Ricky remained seated, a satisfied smirk creeping across her face. “Awesome!” someone said.

Stupendous!” announced Mr. Tiger as he realized the source of the commotion. “How fortunate that we should have some live specimens to illustrate our lessons. I’m glad we are studying frogs rather than the hippopotamus or the giganotosaurus or we’d need a larger classroom!” Then he added, “Ricky, would you kindly capture these gregarious new members of our classroom and set them into the empty aquarium on the side counter?”

After a bit of scuffling and laughing, the frogs were safely contained in their new glass home and students returned to their desks once more. Before beginning the science lesson, Mr. Tiger called Ricky to the front of the class.

Now she’s going to get it, thought Henry, but he was shocked by what happened next.

Mr. Tiger picked up the sheriff’s star from his desk and announced, “Ricky, for your good work in capturing the frogs, I am appointing you as our very first classroom deputy.” Mr. Tiger explained that the deputy was responsible for catching people doing nice or helpful things and rewarding them with cool prizes.

Henry could not believe his ears! Was it possible that Mr. Tiger didn’t know Ricky had hidden the frogs in the desk? How could he give Ricky such an important job when most of what she did was mean? Henry made a mental note to check the lock on his bicycle at lunchtime, just to make sure it was secure.


Chapter 7 - Ministik School (Words driver, helmet, teeth, scary, quickly & Pooh Bear)

Ricki put on the deputy’s badge and tried to look happy all morning. At recess everyone was still watching her! All the students wanted Ricki to see the good things they were doing so she would reward them so they followed her ALL THE TIME – ugh - she had no time to pull any pranks on anyone, including Henry.

At the end of recess while walking back into the school she saw a toy Pooh Bear laying on the ground and quickly decided to give it a swift kick! As she wound up to kick the bear she noticed a little grade oner was watching her and Ricki stopped in mid kick. Instead of kicking the bear she decided to pick up the bear, dust it off, and though smiling thru her gritted teeth she gave it back to the grade oner.

What happened next surprised Ricki because the little student gave Ricki a hug and softly said, “thank you for helping me” This made Ricki feel different inside because no one had ever said that to her before!

When the buzzer sounded to end the school day the grade four children filed out of the school and saw the BIG truck was still parked in front of the school and waiting for something or somebody - and the driver looked nervous.

As Henry put on his bicycle helmet to ride home he saw Mr. Tiger walk out of the school and look at the truck driver. Henry, Tommy and several other students rode their bikes over to where Mr. Tiger stood to ask him about the truck. Just then Mr. Tiger waved at tall the students from his classroom to walk with him to the truck.

Suddenly another loud scary noise came from the trailer behind the truck – it sounded like “thunder in a box”! Everyone except Mr. Tiger took one giant step backward towards the school and they were ready to run…

Chapter 8 - Sparling School - Camrose (Words stupendous, saddlesore, weekend, excitement)

Mr. Tiger called the students back, told them it was safe and then as the students walked closer to the truck, Mr. Tiger called the truck driver by name and introduced him to the class, “Grade four, meet Mr Stu Pendus, he works up at my parents ranch up near the top of Hungry Hill.”

Mr. Tiger continued to tell the students what was in the trailer as he said, “In the trailer behind the truck is a new horse my dad just bought and he wants me to train it to be a riding horse.”

Stu opened the side of the trailer so the students can see the horse better. Stu said the horse’s name is Defy because it defied anyone to ride him. The horse was black and white and Henry saw in the horse’s fiery eye that it was named correctly and Henry wondered if anyone would be able to ride that horse.

Mr. Tiger said, “This weekend I’m going to have a lot of fun at the ranch trying to teach Defy to become a riding horse so I may be a little saddlesore on Monday morning, and I’ll have some new stories to tell.

The students gathered around just before they left for home, Mr Tiger had one more surprise when he said, “If this is a good year at school I plan to take the whole class riding at the ranch in the spring time.” “Anyone interested?”

Henry and Tommy yelled with the other kids as they showed their excitement for the possible spring ranch trip. As they were cheering Henry accidently bumped into someone and when he turned around he saw it was Ricki – but instead of being mad Ricki smiled and was, well - normal - you know – OK with it.

Maybe grade four was not going to be so bad after all!

The end.....


Camrose Composite High School: Senior Opportunity class - Four extra words: Biking, happy, train show, swimming

We made one visit to the senior opportunity class at Camrose Composite High School as a celebration of Literary Arts, part of Alberta Art Day celebrations. The senior opportunity class are studying and reading Robert Munsch stories so it was a good match. They gave us four words so we came up with a story epilogue.

Story Epilogue: One month later

Henry had been in grade four for one month and Mr. Tiger was now called “MR T” by all the kids in his classroom. Learning was fun with Mr. T. As Henry rode his bike home he thought how weird it was that Ricky was a friend and she had not pulled any pranks on anyone – at least so far. Plus every day she went into Mrs. Shaw’s grade one class and read to the little grade oners. Henry thought that was pretty cool. Henry was happy to be in “Mr. T’s” class and also happy to have Ricky as a classmate.

Henry liked biking and while Henry rode he heard a train whistle blow and that reminded him that Tommy and he were going to the model train show at the train station on Saturday. Henry wanted to see if the new CN version of the model GP-40 engine was there. He needed a new engine for his model train and maybe if he started asking now he would find it under the tree at Christmas time.

When Henry turned his bike on to Oak Street, and could see his house, he heard a voice calling his name - it was Shawn and he was really excited. “Hey Henry, Are you going to swimming class today? Henry groaned as he had totally forgotten about swimming lessons. This was an activity Henry did not enjoy very much – he would have to put his head under water, and the last time he tried to dive into the pool he almost lost his swimming trunks!

With a sigh, Henry turned his bike around and rode with Shawn to the swimming pool. Oh well, it was only one hour and what could possibly happen in one hour this week.

The End