Topic outline

    • The Turning Point (Adapted from ‘My Teachers’ by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam)

      About the passage

      A.  Read to understand

      Answer the following questions.

      1.   What was the name of Dr Kalam’s teacher? In which class did he teach Dr Kalam?

      Ans. Shri Siva Subramania Iyer was the name of Dr Kalam’s teacher. He taught Dr Kalam in class 8.


      2. How did the teacher explain a bird’s flight to the students in the class?

      Ans. He drew a diagram of a bird in flight and explained how it creates lift; he also explained how it changes direction while flying.


      3. What was the teacher concerned about?

      Ans. The teacher was concerned because many students said that they too had not understood the concept of bird’s flight.

      4. What decision did Kalam make while standing on the seashore?

      Ans. While standing on the seashore Kalam decided to study all the concept of flight.


      5. What subjects did Kalam study to attain his goal in life?

      Ans. Kalam studied science to attain his goal in life.


      6. What does Kalam describe as the turning point in his life?

      Ans. The Kalam teacher’s lesson on bird’s flight had proved to be a turning point in his life.



      B.  Read to infer

      1.   Why did the teacher take the whole class to the seashore?

      Ans. The teacher took the whole class to the seashore because he wanted children to understand the principles of flight.


      2.   How do a bird’s wings and tail help it fly?

      Ans. The combination of flapping wings and twisting tail helps the bird to fly.


      3.   How did the lesson on the seashore and the teacher’s advice help shape Kalam’s future?

      Ans. The teacher’s advice and the lesson of the flight of birds gave him his mission for life. He took physics in college, studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. He became a rocket engineer, aerospace engineer, and a technologist.



      C.  Discuss

      1.   Are you allowed to ask questions in class? How does asking questions help you?

      Ans. Yes, we are allowed to ask questions in class. Asking questions ignites our minds and improves our understanding and learning.


      2.   Kalam writes, ’He was a very good teacher and all of us loved to attend his class’. Why do you think the children felt so?

      Ans. Children felt so because he used to teach lesson in theory as well as in practice and he always encouraged his students to ask questions.