with Bruce Van Patter 2010-2011School Visits

My visit to Burnet Hill Elementary!

The Assembly Stories

The four ingredients: a dragon in a castle looking for food up against a ferret

The story: our hero dragon is so hungry. He would like to try the corn he sees growing in the fields around the king's castle, but he's always scared away by the farmers and the king's soldiers. Whenever this happens, he starts to cry. All the people start calling him "Crier."

So one day he travels to the castle where he promises to be good if only he's allowed to eat some corn. But before the king can answer, the jester, a little ferret, takes the corn to try to make the dragon cry.

He does. But out comes flames, which turns the corn into POPcorn!


The four ingredients: a really rich guy name Ronald in the desert looking for a new ingredient for his famous candybar with a silly sidekick of a kid named Billy Jimmy-Bob (or something like that).

The story: our rich guy has a contest to find someone who can add a unique ingredient to his new candybar. A young cowboy comes up with the most unique touch -- the venom from a rare lizard in the desert. Dangerous, you say? No, the chocolate counteracts the venom, leaving just a very strange, yet delicious flavor.

But the search for the rare lizard is hard and hot.

Except, I think they've found it.

The workshop tales

What made this tale of a teen detective interesting was that 1) he had a book that regularly gave him spy assignments without telling him who his boss was, and 2) it takes place in Australia!

We were a little fuzzy on the plot details, but the twist in the story is that his boss is actually his girlfriend!

He tracks her down in the park outside of town to confront her. But he's not watching for the attack koala she has ready to swoop down on him!


This funny hat on the right made us think of a girl actor who loses her role in a play to her friend, who actually steals her script so that he can become the star of the play.

She takes a while to figure out who stole her script. It's not until the night of the opening that she sees it in his back pocket when they're out for dinner.

I liked the idea of having a final showdown between the two of them ON STAGE! It could turn a drama about Napoleon into a comedy, though the audience doesn't know it's a real fight going on.


Third grade thought of this dog who is hiding in a shirt on the right. We imagined that he lives in a backyard in a neighborhood where he likes to pull down laundry off of the line. One day when he does that, the wind catches the shirt he's chomped onto and it blows him over the fence. He tells everyone that he knows how to fly!

A girl dog, two yards over, doesn't believe him. So he promises to prove it to her. So, on one windy day, he grabs a shirt and starts to fly in the wind. But the giraffe who ives in between the two yards is not happy to have dogs flying over his space.

He does a little chomping of his own!

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Well, that was a fun day of story-making!

I hope you had fun, too, Burnet Hill kids! Don't let the fun stop now. Put your stories down on paper and share them with others. Don't miss out on the great feelings that come from being creative.

Your stories are worth sharing!

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Pick the ingredients to stories and click through to see how I've started them. Then you finish the story!

Make a character out of some funny people I've drawn for you!
Over a hundred million wacky headlines wait for you to use them to make your own story!

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