with Bruce Van Patter 2008-2009 School Visits

My visit to DOB

When kids start imagining, the stories that come out of their brains are wonderful. Here are a few examples:

The assembly drawings

I create these from four random elements given to me from my Story Team.

The four ingredients: a giraffe in a park looking for fresh air up against a fox

The story: This giraffe has gone out in the spring air to a park, where he just wants to run around, enjoy the breeze and kick a soccer ball. But when he gets there, look what happens!

A fox is flying a kite and the kite gets tangled around the neck of the giraffe! I don't know if that's better or worse than getting a kite stuck in the top of the tree. Both animals are pretty mad at each other.

I added a bunny in the background telling the other two characters to try to get along.


The four ingredients: a biker in a smelly shoe looking for a poisonous porcupine with a silly sidekick of a snail

The story: A biker likes to ride around with a pet snail on his shoulder. But one day, they pick up a porcupine, who quickly becomes the biker's favorite pet. This annoys the snail. So the snail pushes the porcupine off the bike, right by a restaurant called The Smelly Shoe.

The cook at the restaurant is so poor, he uses roadkill for ingredients. Imagine his surprise when he finds out the porcupine he scooped up isn't dead! The biker is back to save his buddy. But the snail is trying to tell him it's not the same porcupine! Crazy fun.

The workshop stories

In this story, this boy in the doodle on the right keeps sneaking answers to tests out of the room of his genius little sister. She doesn't know about it. That is, until one day when the brother finds that her pet rabbit has run off with the answers he needs.

He goes on a quest around the neighborhood, looking for the rabbit. Finally, just when he grabs the rabbit, the neighborhood bully comes up. Worse than that, the sister walks by! Our sneaky hero (he's not much of a good guy, though) hands the bunny to the bully, to try to avoid getting caught cheating.


Here, we have another story about a mean boy. In this one, he is a teenager who has found a little magic man under a rock in the woods. The magic man grants him wishes. The teen wants to have the magic man help him to impress a girl he likes.

But when he goes to the rock, he finds the little man missing. It turns out that there is a young kid who has been following him and has taken the magic guy for himself. But he doesn't know how to use him and just keeps shaking the little guy. Now the teen has caught the kid and is shaking him!

The biggest problem is -- the kids is the little brother of the girl! Somehow, I don't think she's going to like this shakedown!


Finally, we have a story about a lake monster. Not a sea-monster, but one who lives in a deep lake. The monster only has one human friend -- a girl. She's a member of the Camper Girls, like the Girl Scouts. They're really mean, and one night at the lake, they start throwing rocks at a boulder in the water, pretending it's the lake monster.

But it IS a lake monster. Not the nice one, but a really dangerous one. It's so angry, the girls are in real trouble. But our good monster rushes in and throws himself onto the land to protect them. This will give our girl hero enough time to dive in and get the magic gem that will turn the mean monster into a human. Hurry! There's not much time left for our poor, gasping lake monster!


It's so much fun drawing for kids. I love hearing their comments while I sketch out the story we just invented. Even when I'm done and the kids are going out, some of them will come up with more ideas on how the story could have turned out.

That shows me that DOB kids are overflowing with story ideas. And now, DOB students, keep those ideas flowing. Put your tales onto paper. And remember to share them with others.

That way you'll always be creative. Thanks for a fun day!

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!
Strange news is happening! Let my Headline Maker give you a really weird headline. Then write a story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities