As I sat down to write this issue’s In the Classroom, I must admit that I was thinking of my father-in-law. We lost him a few years ago after a long battle with cancer. He was an avid fisherman and there was nothing he enjoyed more than being out on the water, fishing pole in hand. I still remember how impressed he was the first time he took our daughter out on the lake. After five minutes, he expected her to ask him to take her back to camp. As the hours passed, he kept asking her if she was ready to go back to shore or if she needed to use the restroom? From the way Dad described it, she happily said no. She was enjoying being out on the water with her grandpa—and driving the boat! What child wouldn’t? This image gave me the inspiration to write Charlie’s Midnight Adventure. I hope you enjoy. I know Dad would.
Charlie’s Midnight Adventure
Charlie tossed and turned in her sleeping bag unable to sleep. She was too excited. Instead, she thought back to earlier that afternoon, and a smile crept across her face in the dark. They were all sitting around the campfire; mom, dad, and her twin brother. She asked her dad if he would take her fishing? Her brother laughed and said only boys fished. Then he told her girls cooked the fish. She thought that was dumb. Her dad must have too because he agreed to take her fishing. Charlie smirked. Her brother was not happy.
Joey’s snoring on the other side of the tent interrupted her thoughts. Slipping out of her bag, she crawled over and unzipped the window. Charlie peered out. The silvery glow of the full moon invaded the darkness. Their parents’ tent on the other side of the fire pit was barely visible. She shivered. The thin material of her flannel shirt was no match for the mountain air as it made its way through the window. She slid on her down jacket and hiking boots. With one last backwards glance at her brother, she snuck out of the tent.
Outside the sound of crickets and frogs broke the silence. She loved camping; the smell, the sounds, and the adventure. So what if she was a girl! She would prove to her brother she was just as good at fishing as him. Maybe even better! Without a sound, she tiptoed over to the table and picked up an empty can she washed earlier. It was from their baked beans. She stuffed it in her coat pocket. Careful to avoid the last of the burning embers from the fire, she headed out of camp towards the trees.
When the soles of her boots sunk into the ground, she stopped and knelt down. With a simple flick of her wrist, she brushed the leaves and pine needles aside. The ground was moist and the dirt clung to her fingers. Charlie used the can to dig a small hole. It took only a moment to locate her treasure—a fat, squiggly earthworm. A grin spread across her face. She added dirt to the can and dropped in the worm. Now all she needed were a few of his friends!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? You decide!
Thank you for joining me this week. I’d love to hear your ideas on the different ways to encourage children to write. Please leave a comment below.
For a child-friendly copy of this .pdf story starter, click here.