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People are as baffled as this mom by her first grader’s 'odd one out' homework assignment

The mother was left scratching her head over her 6-year-old daughter's seemingly simple homework assignment.

People are as baffled as this mom by her first grader’s 'odd one out' homework assignment
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Katerina Holmes, TODAY | Laura Rathbone

Does anyone remember the show, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? That show made generations of adults feel dull-witted when they struggled to answer simple questions that were no big deal for 5th graders. Apparently, it wasn't just a show concept; little kids do have it more difficult. This became evident when a mother came on social media to get help from others to solve her child's homework assignment, reports TODAY. The assignment stumped everyone as there was no definite answer to the question. There were 100 different ways the question could be interpreted, leaving everyone to wonder if assignments were this hard when they were in first grade.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Julia M Cameron
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Julia M Cameron

Laura Rathbone's daughter came to her with a homework assignment asking the simple question, "Which word is the odd one out?" At first glimpse, the mother thought she would easily solve the problem but on closer look, she realized she had her work cut out for her. She could not for the life of her figure out the right answer amongst the options "friend," "desk," "toothbrush," "egg" and "silver." If she went with the logic of living beings, then the answer would be "friend." However, if she took the path of things that can be eaten, then "egg" would be the odd one out. There was no one right answer, but she had to give one anyway. “At first I thought I was losing my mind. I was like, ‘What am I missing here?’ So I posted in a group with loads of moms hoping they would have the answer,” Rathbone said.

However, social media users were equally confused by the question. Although the Facebook post has since been removed, the question is ringing all over the internet. One person said, “I would say toothbrush as it’s the only one with two syllables?” Another said, “Friend because it’s a person and not an object." Someone else said, “Toothbrush is the only word without an E." The best response however had to be, "Just say the dog ate it."

A teacher appreciated the exercise and believed it would help the students in the long run. They noted, “As a teacher myself I actually think this is an interesting piece of homework. I would imagine designed to encourage thought, reasoning and probably discussion at home.” Rathbone was intrigued by the different responses she received to the question. It revealed the variety of ways the human mind functions.


The mother eventually went ahead and contacted her daughter's teacher for the right answer. The answer was silver. The teacher explained that the class had just started to learn about nouns and everything else in the options were nouns barring silver. The catch though is that silver is both a noun and adjective. Therefore, it quite literally depends on the way a person looks at the question for an answer. Seems a tad bit too complicated for first graders. “I also asked about this in my parents' WhatsApp chat and no one had the same answer,” Rathbone shared. "It's a real brain teaser!" The question has found its way onto platforms like X and TikTok. @z00mie got so frustrated with the question that she hilariously captioned her video with, "Turns out I am not smarter than a 1st grader." Seeing this question, it is safe to say no one is.

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