What is Normal? Asking Big Questions in Grade 5

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What is Normal? Asking Big Questions in Grade 5

In an earlier post, Inquiring Minds shared the passionate conversation taking place with Richland’s Grade 5 students about societal norms, and how ‘normal’ is understood and defined.

The example cited from the Oxford Dictionary caused much controversy among the students, even moving some to tears. They were not in agreement with its sentiment, and decided to challenge Oxford on their definition by presenting a revised definition of ‘normal’ for the language experts to consider.

Here is the Grade 5 letter to the Oxford Dictionary, requesting they revisit the definition of normal. They have submitted their recommendation and look forward to a response.



  • Laura (for Mrs. De Simone)
    April 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Dear Grade 5 Class,

    This is very important work you are doing. We all need to consider ‘normal’ as deeply as you have. I think your definition should be seriously considered by Oxford. Wonderful and thoughtful work!! Humans should all think of normal in this way. Thank you for a new and inclusive perspective, we are all different and that is normal.


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