with Bruce Van Patter 2008-2009 School Visits

My visit to Crim Elementary!

The Assembly Stories

The four ingredients: a shark on a beach looking for a vacation up against a bunny

The story: this was a fun story to draw! This poor shark has been waiting for the beach to empty so that he can sun himself without people screaming. He finally comes up and falls asleep on a beach towel.

When he wakes up, he finds that a bunny has been trying to bury him in the sand! The little bunny just wants a friend to play with. The shark doesn't think the bunny is fun at all.

After school , I added a little detail: the bird by his tail saying, "Some bunny likes you!"


The four ingredients: a plumber kid at a pool looking for blond hair with a silly sidekick of a chicken with Elvis hair

The story: our hero thinks for some strange reason that kids would like him better if he had blond hair, so he opens up a pipe, releasing bleach into the pool water.

But his silly pet, a big chicken, who hopes to have a rock career with his amazing Elvis hair, jumps in. Oh no! What will the chicken do now? Nobody wants to listen to a blond Elmis chicken!

The workshop tales

In this story, we combined a pirate with a cowboy. He is searching for his lucky starfish medallion, which was stolen by a girl he thought was a fellow pirate. Not so! She is actually the daughter of an old prospector, looking for his missing wife.

The old lady was trapped by a rattlesnack scorpion. The old prospector and his daughter use the medallion to find the missing woman.

But it's our pirate cowboy who saves the day. He's not good at roping, but he is great at tying knots! Will the beast win? I think knot!


Here'a funny idea: magical pizza dough! In this tale, a girl who has come from another dimension wants to go back home. She discovers that if she makes the right kind of dough, when she throws it up, it will make a portal appear in the air.

But here's the problem: the young guy who runs the pizza shop likes her too much to let her go back to her world.

It was fun telling the kids about the time I threw pizza dough up in the air and it came down in the dish-water!


This doodle on the right gave us a character who is a football player and prides himself on his toughness. But he has a tender side: he works on a bunny farm.

One day, he finds a magic goldfish.

The goldfish grants him one wish: that a girl would like him. But in return, the guy has to carry around the fish and do whatever the fish tells him. The young man comes to realize that his wish wasn't so good after all.

I liked how we discovered along the way that "G.F." could stand for "girlfriend" OR "goldfish" -- that's fun!

Your stories, taking shape!

My thanks to the PTA mom who took these pictures, showing a story taking shape. This is a fun thing for kids to watch. For me, the most fun is listening to the ideas of kids as they brainstorm stories.

You Crim kids are truly creative! Keep putting your ideas down on paper. Use them to make more amazing stories.

And don't forget -- half of the fun is in the sharing of your stories! Make sure others see what you created!

While you're here, check out the fun stuff on my site!

In addition to all the free material on this site, I have downloadable books that are perfect for keeping kids writing in school or at home!

(click on books to see)

The Adventures of Pirate Dog
Picture prompts are a great way to inspire kids to write! Here are 26 of my best drawings with fun, pre-writing worksheets

Write Your Own
Cartoons!
Kids can add the
dialogue and their special touches to my funny comic strips filled with wacky characters!

Sparks: Year One
Here’s a fantastic resource for teachers: a whole year of weekly creative writing lessons built around wacky holidays!

More to come!

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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!

click on the images to go to the writing activities