with Bruce Van Patter 2005-2006 School Visits

My visit to Hawthorne Elementary!

What I love about doing stories with kids is that I never know where the stories will go. That's so much fun! As we make up stories, we let them take us into interesting places. Maybe we'll find an alligator pirate. Maybe we'll think up a flying hat, or how to grow doghouses! Today was a day to explore ideas. And these Hawthorne kids were really good at it!

The assemblies: a little monkey business!

It was interesting to have two assemblies both choose a monkey as a main character. I think I've got to learn to draw different kinds of monkeys, since I've found that monkeys are the number one favorite animal that kids pick for stories. But at least the settings were quite different. One was in the jungle with an angry gorilla. The other was in a school with an angry teacher.

Kids are so eager to come up front. This is one of my teams from the assemblies. They were so willing to share their ideas with me and their fellow students.

They all had wonderful ideas!

Imaginations put onto paper

Hey kids, do you remember what I said in the beginning of the assembly? You are creative. You come up with ideas. And your ideas are like treasure. Keep digging for that treasure and think up ideas for stories and drawings. It's so much fun!

And thanks for sharing those great ideas with me!

Wild workshops!

Check out these stories:

In this story, we had an alligator pirate who was all by himself on his ship. He was worried about being taken over by some pirate pigs, so he shot himself onto an island to dig up his treasure chest. What was in that chest? A sea monster he buried. To get the monster to help him, he had to let the creature be the new captain! What a fabulous story idea!

Here's another great idea: a flying hat! This boy invented this hat and went to the part to impress a scientist. But a squirrel found the remote and took over the hat! In the end, I think the scientist will love the idea!

And in this tale, a scientist woman has a purse which can make interesting things appear. This guy has found it (or stolent it) in a mall and is getting quite a surprise!

The idea I love in this story is that a farmer dog can grow doghouses! If they're not picked soon enough, they can grown into skyscrapers. We thought of different things that could happen to the houses he's growing for his puppies. I illustrated one of them above: a meteor crashes into one. In the end, he grows one big enough for all five puppies!

You all have such wonderful, creative minds. Keep using your ideas!

back to main page programs Fun stuff for families schools reviews bio
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