Education | A Story of my childhood | Class 12 English Notes

NEB Grade XII Compulsory English Note | Language Development | Unit- 5 A Story of My Childhood | A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


  • Before you read

a.”Childhood is a chance for kids to discover who they are before the world tells them who they should be.” Do you agree or not?

Ans. Yes, certainly. Our childhood behaviour leads us to future life. Even simple achievement makes us exciting and we feel we did great deed. Our teacher parents shape our character. They are our backbone. We have dream of what we would be in our future life. And many mischievous things too we have done in our childhood.

b. Share one of your interesting childhood memories.

Ans. I didn’t know how to swim in a stream but all of my friends died from the big stone into the pooled water. I also dived but drowned. One of my friends push me up and drew me to the bank. From next day I began to swim in the sallow water, slowly I came to learn how to swim.

  • Working with words

Match the words in column A with meaning in column B

(a) expectant:- in a way that shows you are hoping for something, especially something good or exciting

(b) beckon:- to give signal to somebody to move nearer or to follow you

(c) grapple:- to try hard to find a solution to a problem

(d) texture:- the way food or drink tastes or feels in your mouth

(e) cobbled:- having a surface that is made of small round stones

(f) flimsy:- thin and easily torn

(g) attire:-clothes, especially fine or formal ones

(h) marvellous:- extremely good; wonderful

(i) dynamics:- the science of the forces involved in movement

  B. An autobiography is a story of a person’s life, written by himself/herself. Use a dictionary and find the meanings of the following words related to people’s life stories.

hagiography obituary   chronicle memoir psychobiography pathography character sketch profile


a.hagiography:-a biography that treats its subject with undue reverence, Biography of saints or venerated person. idolising biography.

b.psychobiography:-a biography written from a psycho dynamic or psychoanalytic point of view. It designates any approach to biography that emphasises inner life and psychological development.

c.pathography:-the study of the life an individual or the history of a country with regard to the influence of a particular disease or psychological disorder.

Pathography is psycho analytic approach to the realm of art that depends on detailed knowledge of an artists personal life history.

d.Chronicle:-A factual written account of important or historical events inorder to their occurrence. Record a series of events in a factual and detailed.

e.obituary:-Notice of death, specially in newspaper, typically including a brief biography of deceased person.

f.character sketch:-a brief description of a person’s qualities.

g.profile:-a side view outline. A view or representation of an object, esp of a human, a building in contour or outline.

h.memoir:-a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge.

C. An intonation refers to the way the voice rises and falls when speaking. They can be rising, falling, rising-falling or falling-rising. Listen to your teacher reading the following sentences and find out their intonation patterns.

a. I have some good news for you! – Rising 

b I was so pleased to hear this result. – Rising + falling

c.My mother would have a hot meal ready. – Falling

d.The whole class went to the seashore of Rameswaram. – Falling

e.Who knew that a Muslim and a Hindu boy could not sit together? – Falling +


f.He also explained to us how they change direction while flying. – Falling + rising

g . He asked the other students whether they had understood or not. – Falling + 


h.Where is the engine in this bird? – Falling

i.How can I progress further in learning all about flight? – Falling

j. Should I go to engineering college where I would be able to learn about flight. –

 Rising + Falling

  • Comprehension

A.Put the following events in the life of Abdul kalam in a chronological order.

(a) Abdul Kalam attended an elementary school at Rameswaram.

(b) One day Abdul Kalam’s teacher visited them to share his pride and pleasure about his performance.

(c) They celebrated happiness with poli.

(d) A new teacher in the school forbade Abdul Kalam to sit together with his Bramhin friend.

(e). Many students did not understand well of Sivasubramania Iyer’s lecture.

(f) He then took the students to the seashore for a practical class.

(g) Abdul Kalam was determined that he would make a future study about flight and flight systems.

B. Answer the following questions.

a.What were the causes of Abdul Kalam’s happiness?

Ans. Scoring full marks in mathematics and science, outstanding result in English and Tamil, teachers trouble to come his house to tell the result, sweet polis his best friend Ramanadhan Sastry, leaf boats sailing on a poodle, unexpected joy ride of ants on a leaf boat and clinging them on a flimsy leaf were the causes ofAbdul Kalam’s happiness.

b.Which two places did Abdul Kalam visit before going to school?

Ans. Before going to school he had to go to Arbic tuition class where he learnt to read Koran. After it was over he had to go to his mathematics teacher’s house to take special class.

c.What did he like about mathematics?

Ans. He liked to gripping with number problems. He was always loved about learning numbers, and their rules and patterns.

d. Why was the new teacher unhappy?

Ans. The new teacher was unhappy because a Hindu and a Muslim boy were sitting together.

e. Why did Abdul Kalam have to split with his intimate friend?

Ans. Abdul kalam had to split with his intimate friend because of religion use discrimination prevailing in the society. Muslim and Hindu boy could not sit together Abdul Kalam was a Muslim and his intimate friend Ramanadhan was a Hindu. But the teacher was convinced and the two sat together later.

f.What was the topic of Sivasubramania Iyer’s class?

Ans. Shivasubarmania lyer’s class topic was ‘How birds fly’. He taught science. That day he was going to teach features of birds. It was about animal kingdom or classification of animals.

g.How was the teacher’s reaction when the students told him that they did not understand his lecture?

Ans. Teacher was not upset with the students because they had not understood about bird’s flight. Next day, He scheduled for practical teaching in the nature.

Practical teaching was real teaching instead of giving lecture in the class.

h.Why did Sivasubramania Iyer take his students to the seashore?

Ans. Shivasubramania Iyer took his students to the seashore to teach practically about birds’ fly and to have real teaching in the nature. 

  • Critical thinking

a.APJ Abdul Kalam became a renowned aerospace scientist in his later life. Do you find any association of his childhood days in shaping his career? Explain with specific instances from the text.

Ans. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (1931-2015 AD) was one of the greatest scientists of 20 th century. He had , dedication and perseverance in his spirit. These qualities of Kalam made him a renowned scientist of the world. I absolutely, find that the childhood days of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, has a great effect in shaping his career.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam called his childhood a secure one because he had loving and caring parents. He had all necessary things which included food, clothes, medicine etc.

Kalam is school was small but had got many teachers who had taught him with bol love and care. Moreover, the incident of division between Hindu and Muslim made o boaby his former teacher made him concious about discriminative society too. While illuc he was ten, his teacher taught how the birds fly he didn’t understand it. After he had soflor seen it practically then only he came to know how do birds fly. This made his concept clear and excited to know more about flight. hence, he passed his 8mn, high carlier school and went to engineering collge at Madras Institute of Technology and become successful aerospace engineer.

Hence, there is plenty of association of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s childhood days in shaping his career.

b.Kalam mentions an instance of discrimination against him in his school life. What picture of society does he want to depict by mentioning the incident? Discuss.

Ans. During childhood Kalam used to wear a cap and Ramanandhan Satyr wore a sacred thread which marked him to be a Brahmin. When the new teacher came he could not tolerate a Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim boy. He ordered Kalam to go. and sit on the back bench. This made Ramanandhan sad. Abdul started to sit in the last row but it left a bad impression on Abdul. Both the kids narrated the incident to their parents. As a result, the teacher rebuked and reprimanded the spreading communalism and hatred among children. 

This incident depicts the discriminative society in India. Where Hindus are considered superior to Muslim. The mindset of teachers in that period was so narrow. People used to discriminate on the basis of caste, economic status and so on. This shows a dark trace of the society where it used to create conflicts and disputes among one other. 

  • Writing

Write a Short Autobiography featuring your childhood life using the following guidelines

Ans. My Childhood life

I remember, at an early age I wanted to be a teacher. As a child, other with friend and cousins I played at school and of course I had to be a teacher.

I was born in 2070 B.S. in Parbat district. I am from a simple family. My parents are farmers. They simply earn by working in a farm and grew crops to sustain for the family. I had 3 brothers and 4 sisters. I grew in a big family. We had no electricity. We had to walk for 3 days to buy kerosene and salt from the nearest market. My father used to carry 15 litres of kerosene and 50 kg salt once a year. He used to go Batauli twice a year to bring salt, kerosene, stationery and clothes. We used to sit around the oil lamp and do our homework. Sister and me used to share one set of old books. We had to go to graze cattle and cut grass before and after school.

`We had to pay fee in government school too. At that time, I had to pay Rs 14 for grade 7, upto fifth grade, it was five. To get scholarship, I changed school after 7th

grade. I was always the first in the class. If I didn’t stand first, I had to pay the fees. At that time all teachers were in favour of democratic movement. Police used to enter the school and asked various questions about Panchayat system and multiparty democracy. We didn’t have classes at day time, all scared of army and police troops. But our science teacher called us at his home and he taught everything. We didn’t know how to write correct English. So, we gave priority to English rather than other subjects.

I had been inspired by our English & science teachers. So I wanted to be a teacher in my future life. We had to face more difficulties in study. We had only a set of books, not any dictionary, guide or reference book. We only depended on S.L.C. or I.A. passed teachers. They had been valued in the society. Teacher had to read and write letters to the army families. Some people had been to India. They sent letters and families used to call a teacher to read and write reply to them. So, I set my mind to be a teacher. Nowadays, we can get each and every note in google and make mockery character to the teacher in the classroom and present us as learned persons in this modern world. Reality is towards romance, dancer bar and ultra-modern culture.

  •  Grammar


A.Study the following sentences and underline the connectives. 

a.Although she spoke very fast, I understood what she meant to say.

b.In spite of her hard labour, she failed her exam.

c.Though he had all the required qualifications, he did not get the job.

d.Despite having all the qualifications, he did not get the job.

B.Join the following pairs of sentences twice, using although/though/even though and despite/in spite of as in the example.

Example: Nepali people have limited income. They are very happy.

i.Although Nepali people have limited income, they are happy. 

ii. Nepali people are happy in spite of their limited income.

a.He is a millionaire. He lives in a simple house.

Ans. Although he is a millionaire, he lives in a simple house.

  • In spite of his higher income, he lives in a simple house.

b.The weather was extremely bad. The pilot landed the plane safely.

Ans. The pilot landed the plane safely in spite of the weather extremely bad. 

c.We study in the same college. We hardly see each other.

Ans. We hardly see each other even though we study in the same college. 

  • Though we study in the same college, we hardly see each other.

d.It rained heavily. We enjoyed our holiday.

Ans. In spite of the heavy rain, we enjoyed our holiday.

  • Although there was heavy rain, we enjoyed our holiday.

e.I had an umbrella. I got wet in the rain.

Ans. I got wet in the rain although I had an umbrella.

  • Despite having an umbrella, I got wet in the rain. 

f. I was really tired. I could not sleep a moment. 

Ans. Because of my tiredness, I couldn’t sleep a moment.

  • I could not sleep a moment as I was really tired.
  • As I was really tired, I couldn’t sleep a moment ..

g.She has very good accent in English. She failed the interview of a newsreader.

Ans. Even Though she has very good accent in English, she failed the interview of a newsreader.

  • In spite of her very good accent in English, she failed the interview of a news reader. 

h.Lhasa has extremely cold weather in winter. Millions of tourists go there in January. 

Ans. Although Lhasa has extremely cold weather in winter, millions of tourists go there in January.

  • Millions of tourists go to Lhasa in winter inspite of its extremely cold weather.

i.He was badly injured in the first round of the boxing match. He was victorious in the third round.

Ans. Although he was badly injured in the first round of the boxing match, hewas victorious in the third round.

  • He was victorious in the third round despite his bad injury in the first round of the boxing match.

C. Complete each sentence in an appropriate way.

a.He passed the exam although I didn’t attend the class regularly.

b.She climbed the mountain in spite of her weakness.

c.He did not give any alms to the beggars even though he earned a lot.

d.In spite of his poor eyesight, he climbed the mountain.

e.Nobody respect her though she is very sociable.

f.He couldn’t join the army, in spite of his ten attempts. 

g.He refused to eat anything despite having hunger.

h.He could not score good grades in the SEE exams in spite of his hard labour.

i.She accepted the job although she didn’t like it.

j. Even Though we had planned everything carefully, we couldn’t manage the company properly.

  • Project work

Conduct an oratory contest on “Education is the Foundation of Development”.Invite your English teacher as a judge.

Ans. ‘Education is the foundation of Development’

Mr. Chairperson, respected teachers and my dear friends ! Today I am here to deliver a short speech on the topic ‘Education is the foundation of development’.

Education means a form of learning in which knowledge skills and habits are transfered from. One generation to the next generation. The education of a person starts when s/he is born. At the early age the most important teachers of a child are his parents and specialy his mother because a mother can teach her child the best.

One should consider deeply that the foundation of development is education. The country will be developed only after educated and skillful human resource is available within the country. The nations are built multifariously by education. The economic growth can be increased, if the people of a country are educated. They can easily grow up the national economy. Then they can better know the economic principles and rules and can think about them easily if they are better educated. Education provides people the skills they need to help themselves to get out of poverty and gain prosperity. If one gets education, she is able to decide what is right and what not. Moreover education plays a great role in the field of agriculture which helps in producing food and crops in the country. In addition, the medical workers, civil servants, and other important human resources necessary for the country are also developed through education.

Hence, by saying that education is the foundation of development, I would like to thank you all for your valuable time and attention.

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