No Talking

No Talking


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It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative, and most competitive fifth graders in history challenge one another to see who can go longer without talking. Teachers and school administrators are in an uproar, until an innovative teacher sees how the kids’ experiment can provide a terrific and unique lesson in communication. In No Talking, Andrew Clements portrays a battle of wills between some spunky kids and a creative teacher with the perfect pitch for elementary school life that made Frindle an instant classic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416909842
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 06/23/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 18,316
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at

Mark Elliott has a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has illustrated a number of book covers, and his work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Guild. Mark lives on a sheep farm in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Topics
Who are the "Unshushables"? How do the teachers at Laketon Elementary feel about the "Unshushables"? Have you ever been part of a noisy group? Why do you think this was the case?
Who is Gandhi and how does he get Dave Packer into trouble? Who helps turn Dave's experiment into a grade-wide contest? What are the terms of the contest?
Who is Mrs. Hiatt? List some of the unusual steps she has taken to try to handle the fifth-grade class. Have her efforts worked? Has she given up?
What surprises Mrs. Hiatt at the fifth-grade lunch on the second Tuesday of November? How do Mrs. Marlow, Mrs. Akers, and Mr. Burton each react to the surprise?
What challenges do the fifth graders encounter as they get through the first hours of the contest? What loopholes do they find that allow them to make noise? What are the differences between talking and noise?
What does Dave decide is the right word for the contest? Why do you think he chooses this word? Would you choose this same word to describe the contest?
Why does the author title Chapter 13 "Language Lab"? What experiment does Mr. Burton perform? What is the result of his experiment?
What do the kids discover as they try to keep quiet at home? How do their parents react to the silence?
How do the kids handle Mrs. Hiatt's "Pledge of Allegiance" trick? Why do they do this? What happens when Mrs. Hiatt demands an end to their contest? What change is happening in the relationships between the fifth graders?
Why doesn't Mrs. Escobar mind that the kids have disobeyed Mrs. Hiatt? What happens in her math class? What happens in Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts? How do the kids handle their music class on the second day?
How does Mr. Burton feel about Mrs. Hiatt's efforts to stop the fifth-grade contest? What does Mrs. Hiatt do when she finds out that the contest is still going on at lunchtime? How does she confront Dave? How does Dave respond?
How does Mrs. Hiatt feel about her actions? Can you understand why she acted the way she did? What happens when she asks Dave to her office?
Why is the final chapter entitled "Winners"? Who are the winners in this story? Explain your answer.
Activities and Research
Go to the library or online to learn more about Gandhi and civil disobedience. Use your research as the basis for a short report about Gandhi and what larger lessons from his life -- beyond silence -- are at play in No Talking.
Keep a journal in which you record the noisy and quiet times in your day or week. Include comments, such as how noise affected your mood or actions, and which parts of the day you most enjoyed. Share your observations with friends or classmates. Are their experiences and opinions similar to your own, or different?
Interview a teacher or school administrator about his or her job. Include questions about the value of order and quiet, how it is maintained, and when noise is okay. Have students ever taught them something exciting and new? Based on your interview, write an article about this teacher or administrator for your school or classroom newspaper.
Explore nonverbal ways people communicate, such as sign language and writing, or through arts such as pantomime, dance or painting. Divide classmates or friends into small groups to create informative posters about these different ways of communicating. Display the posters in your school or community, along with a "guestbook" inviting viewers to write down their reactions to the information.
Try one of Mr. Burton's experiments, such as making up a group story with each student offering just three words; spending a class period WRITING ONLY but communicating with at least four other people; or holding a debate, such as the pros and cons of soda machines in the cafeteria, using three-word arguments.
Make a "top ten" list of reasons for keeping quiet. Illustrate and post the list in your home or classroom. Or, list the top ten appropriate ways to make noise.
In the character of Mrs. Hiatt or Mr. Burton, give a presentation to a group of parents or colleagues, describing the No Talking Contest, its outcome, and how the experience changed your thoughts about teaching and discipline.
Write a letter to your teacher explaining why you would like to hold a No Talking Contest in your classroom. Do you think the activity will be easy or difficult? What do you hope to learn?
With the approval of parents or teachers, hold a No Talking experiment in your home or classroom. Agree to a set of rules (use rules from the story if desired), decide if this will be a contest, and determine how long it will last. Afterward, write a short essay about the experiment. Did it work? Who were the winners?
In the character of Lynsey, write a journal entry explaining why you decided to "even the score" between the boys and girls just before the contest ended. Or, in the character of Dave, write a journal entry explaining whether you would have done the same thing if the situation had been reversed and how you feel about Lynsey's actions.
Imagine you were one of the Laketon Elementary fifth graders involved in the No Talking Contest. Write an essay describing the two days from your point-of-view and the most important thing you learned from the contest. Conclude with an explanation of whether you would or would not participate in the contest if it started again tomorrow, and why.

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No Talking 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 145 reviews.
Innasense More than 1 year ago
"No Talking" by Andrew Clements is a great book for elementary aged students...and their teachers! The book is written in a way that makes it easy for students to read and follow the story, containing a lot of humor and dialogue as well as some well-done, but not distracting, illustrations. So what is the book about? Basically, Dave Packer and all his fifth grade classmates make up the "unshushables", a group so talkative no teacher can quiet them for an entire class period. But, when Dave learns about Gandhi and the days of silence he took to clear his mind, he comes up with the idea to try it himself...but he just can't stand Lynsey Burgess and all her blabbermouth friends with all their talking about silly things one day at lunch. In this moment, a grand challenge begins, one that involves the entire fifth grade class, one that captivates all the teachers, frustrates the principal, and teaches everyone an amazing lesson about communication and collaboration. I would definitely recommend this book for students, for teachers, and for anyone who has a noisy child or works in a noisy school. "No Talking" is filled with lessons for all. It is easy to relate to and very hard to put down. It's boys versus girls, teachers versus students, and the principal against a force even she can't overcome with an explosive ending (brought to you by Dave) and a great lesson that all of us should stop and think about. Five stars from me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is really funny and I just wanted to keep reading it.It is a book that everybody could read. It is just a down to earth book.It is one of my favorite books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book.I think 5th graders would love this book. In No Talking,it 's boys against girl.It has a twist in it to.Dave Packer came up with the idea.Here is one rule,if a teacher asks you a question you can only say 3 words per question that,is asked.
LindsayZS More than 1 year ago
Andrew Clements does a great job again with his book No Talking. The book is well-written in a style that is perfect for the average 5th grade reader. The plot and conflict fall right in line with things a typical 5th grader might experience at school and make it very easy for student readers to make connections. The book also includes a great lesson-it would make a great read for teachers with very talkative classrooms! This is also an important reminder for adult readers (especially teachers and administrators) that we are, as adults, fallible and make mistakes. We have to be willing to swallow our pride as well and remember that it's all about the kids and setting good examples.
This book is a fabulous addition to any child's home library or any teacher's classroom library!
stacy101 More than 1 year ago
A Fifth Grader that loves books The book "No Talking" is a very eventful book. It is about a boy named Dave and a girl named Lynsey. They make a bet on who can talk less boys or girls. If you speak that gender gets a point and whoever has the most points in the end loses. Personally this is a very good book and I really enjoyed it. There are many humorous thoughts when the smart teacher asks Dave a question and he can't answer or the boys got a point. Soon in "No Talking" people start to figure something is going wrong and they try to stop it. But does the game go on?
JPRRES More than 1 year ago
Andrew Clements definitely knows children. Many a teacher wish that they could get their students to be quiet for 5 minutes much less a whole day. Well written, Mr. Clements!
Official-Reader More than 1 year ago
A contest between a boy and a girl. It is a good book. Can the boy and girl keep up the contest for one week?? Buy the book to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Its a really really good book. Check out other books from this author, they are really good too. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not to say Clemets is a bad writer, infact I have read multiple books of his and greatly enjoyed them, but he lacks something in each of his books that put me back aways. Each time I read one of his books, I get a couple chapters in and I atomaticly know exactly what the book is going to be about and what is going to happen towards the end of the book and what is going to happen before that and how it is going to happen. Not exactly predictable, alright, predictable. I just get bored when I know what is going down. Of course, I am a writer myself and you might not notice this. By all means, this is a great book thou I refuse to recommend this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that Andrew Clements did a great job with this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book. You should get it. It is about some kids who start not talking in school. They can only say 3 words when a teacher talkes to them. The teachers don't like it at furst,...........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book because it is fun but also educational. It teaches kids how you can comuinicate without talking. I think that every person should read this very awesome book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome and funny!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it was fresh and the characters were realistic and well-developed. However unrealistic the circumstance was, it perfectly captured the voice of fifth grade boys and girls, as well as their opinions about themselves and eachother. This book is my top Andrew Clements book. If you liked No Talking, be sure to check out Frindle, another wonderfully written Andrew Clements book. Happy Reading, Abby
FlygURL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loving this author! I love the power he gives the children in his book to make changes to their environment without disrespecting authority. I love that in each of the books that we, Julia and I, have read, he is using the power of language/communication to make change. Great book to have ready with my 7 year old!
porch_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this one with my fifth-grade son. We love Andrew Clements, and this one didn't disappoint. What happens when a very chatty fifth-grade class stops talking? As the boys and girls compete to say the fewest words, the teachers are perplexed and then angry, but students and teachers alike end up learning a lot about communication. Clements has an uncanny way of accurately capturing the dynamics between students and teachers. This doesn't beat our favorite Clements' book, Frindle, but it is worth a read.
chrisssve on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
No Talking by Andrew Clements is a quick and fun book to read! Lynsey and Dave are classmates in the fifth grade. In fact, along with many others in their class they have been attending Laketon Elementary together since they were all in kindergarten! Early on their class earned the nickname "Unshushables" from their teachers because they could not be quieted. Not only that, the girls and bo
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A no-talking contest between boys and girls raises some interesting ideas, like how a school administration might react to a silent strike and how silence can calm the soul.
Gexy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great book this would be to read to a talkative class! The 5th graders have always been a little out of control with their nonstop talking. But then the boys challenge the girls to see who can go through their day without talking. It is hard and the teachers have different reactions, but in the end the entire school is a little more thoughtful.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fifth graders at Laketon Elementary School like to talk. In fact, they talk so much that their teachers have dubbed their class "The Unshushables". But lately, Dave Packer has been doing some thinking about talking. He decides to see if he can go a whole day without talking and he very nearly succeeds. What stops him? In the cafeteria, he overhears Lynsey Burgess talking on and on about a sweater she'd wanted to buy. Before he can stop himself, he's insulting her, and soon after that he's challenging her and all the other girls in their class to a contest. Boys vs. girls: who can say the fewest words in the next 48 hours?Another hit from Andrew Clements. He takes an interesting situation, puts it in the hands of some very smart kid characters, adds a few bumbling grownups who eventually see the error of their ways, and wraps it all up with great humor. Highly recommended.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book about the whole fifth grade having a no talking contest between the boys and girls. Certainly, the teachers are surprised and must figure out how to deal with this normally rowdy group being so quiet in class.
cpotter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fifth grade boys challenged the girls to a contest. Who can go without talking for two days--boys or girls. The rules were set and the contest was on. Right away the teachers begin to suspect that the kids are up to something. Who will win? And how will the teachers react.
FranCaroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fifth grader, Dave, reads a book about Ghandi for his report on India. He becomes interested in the idea of 'not talking', something Ghandi did for his own spiritual development. In a verbal fight with a girl classmate, Dave challenges her to keep quiet. Suddently, a contest develops and spreads to all the fifth graders, where the contestants are the boys against the girls. Who will win this battle among the noisiest group of fifth graders ever to go through this primary school? What lessons will they learn?
shelburns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Andrew Clements is another author that I love to share with kids. I read this book because I heard of other teachers who were using it in their classrooms as the first chapter book read aloud of the year; I wanted to know what all the hype was about. I am so glad that I picked it up, carried it around in my bag, and finally got around to reading it.I must say, that I can so relate, text-to-self connection, with this book/story. This book should be that way for kids as well. Clements puts the reader in a typical school setting. Fifth grade is about the time that boys and girls alike start to realize that the other sex does not have cooties anymore. This group is not quite there yet, but somehow they manage to get past that and become friends/allies.I laughed out loud reading this because the events are so real and Clements makes them so funny. The teachers are torn as to which group of 5th graders they like better, the "unshushables," or the new, only 3 words spoken at a time 5th graders. Many of the teachers take advantage of this new communication and use it to their benefit, but others can't stand it.I would reccommend this book for 3rd grade and up. Even as an adult I enjoyed it immensely!
mayaspector on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fifth grade class is so noisy they're known as the unshushables. But, after studying about Gandhi, Dave tries to keep silent for a whole day. He isn't successful because he can't help ridiculing the girls' conversations. suddenly, it's the boys against the girls in a contest of no talking. Can the teachers deal with this new development? It turns out that they, too, learn something from this surprising experiment.