with Bruce Van Patter 2008-2009 School Visits

My visit to Cunningham Park Elementary!

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a cheetah in a volcano who wants a flat-screen TV up against a bunny dragon

The story: This cheetah saw a commercial for an amazing flat screen TV. It was being sold by Volcano Bob, who has his store in a dormant volcano.

When our cheetah gets to the store, he is impresed with how real the image looks on the screen. The bunny dragon coming out of the lava seems like it's right there!

That's because it reall is there! That Bob is a tricker!

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!


The four ingredients: a genius girl who breathes fire in a box with a chair and a goldfish bowl trying to win a trip around the world up against a boy who breathes water

The story: This is as complicated a list of ingredients as I've ever had! I can't say I did a good job keeping them all straight, but I thought this girl is trying to win a Science Fair with a strange fish that flies when you heat it. She hopes to win the prize of a trip around the world.

But so does her mean brother! He's trying to keep her from winning by cooling down the fish by spraying water.

Workshop stories

Sometimes little details can build a whole story. In this doodle on the right, our student artist added a flower to the girl's hat. That started us thinking about a magical flower hat that a wizard is trying to get by kidnapping the girl's boyfriend.

There are two things I really like about this story.

First, I like the setting of a medieval ranch. That's a fun combination. I also like the bee bat butterfly we invented to attack the mean wizard.


Here we have a little alien guy bursting out of an egg. That drawing helped us hatch a story about an alien boy on a quest to find his parents somewhere on a farm. He starts out by escaping the chickens only to find out that his parents are hiding in the hay in the chicken coop!

How will he get past the angry hens? With the help of his mouse swat team.


What was fun about this workshop was having the chance to invent our own mythical animal. The creative girl who drew the tears on this creature got us thinking about an animal who cares for creatures so much, he weeps for them. We called him a Weepie.

He seems like the perfect animal to win a Caring for Creatures Contest. But then, maybe he could have found a nicer animal to care for than "Chomper."

Hey, Cunningham Park Kids -- I hope you had as much fun as I did. And I hope you believe me now when I say YOU ARE CREATIVE!

Now, take the excitement you have for stories and put your ideas down on paper. Then share them with others. That's the best way to hold onto your imaginations.

If you want some more ideas to jumpstart your creativity, check out the fun stuff on my site!

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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 make them into a story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities