Don't Be Late
Story & Picture by Jerri Lynn Spivey

picture of playground

It was a hot summer day in July.  All the kids who lived in Shannon Subdivision planned a trip to go down to the park for the day.  Shelby lived in the middle of the subdivision so the kids decided that her house would be the place to meet.  

One by one the kids arrived on their bicycles.  Everyone was there and ready to go except for John.  John was always late.  Anytime the kids planned a day out, they would have to wait on John.  Everyone was really tired of doing this so they decided to leave without him. 

The park was only a couple of blocks away so the kids were safe riding down by themselves as long as they all stayed together.  Not really thinking about John having to ride by himself, the kids jumped on their bikes and started on their way.  They arrived at the park,  hopped off their bikes, and ran to the playground.  All the kids were busy playing on the swings, sliding down the slides, and some were playing on the merry-go-round.  John had not crossed anyone’s mind.

Everyone was getting hungry so they decided to unpack their lunches and eat.   As they were finishing up Shelby thought about John.  They all began to wonder why he never made it to the park.  After a lot of discussion and complaining, they decided they better cut their play time short and go home to check on him. 

Much to their surprise, when they got back to Shelby’s house, John was waiting on the front porch.  He told them he had tried to go to the park by himself but he got lost.  He rode around, not knowing where he was going, and ended up downtown.  A kind police officer spotted him and asked if he needed help.  John begged him to help him find his way home.  The police officer called his mother and she went to the police station and picked him up. 

John told all the kids that he was very sorry and that he would be sure to be on time from now on.  The kids were so glad that John was home safe.  They all hugged him and promised not to leave him alone again.       

Activity for Lesson Using Critical Thinking

Critical thinking questions to ask students that would change your story to their story:
1. How would you change the main character? (Introduction)
2. Where would your story takes place? (Setting)
3. What would happen to the main character in your story? (Plot)
4. How would your story end? (Ending)

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