with Bruce Van Patter 2010-2011 School Visits

My visit to Rheems Elementary!

It took a long time in coming, but this visit was worth the wait. It's a fun school filled with creative kids!

The assembly drawings

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a groundhog named Jake in a pizza shop looking for a cave up against a rabbit

The story: our hero has been on a search for a warm place to spend the winter. Guess where he found it?

I have to say, this is one of my favorite drawings of the year. It's rare that everything comes together so nicely. And I loved have enough time at lunch to really put in some details.

With the snow and ice falling outside today, I feel like hibernating myself!

The randomly combined persuasive topic: actors raising golden cows

The reason the adience voted PRO: This was a hard topic, I think because raising gold cows was such a strange element. But in the end, we liked the idea that there might be golden milk.

As I finished the drawing later, I realized that the reason why it would be good to have an actor involved is that he could sell it to the public. And having something as cool as gold milk would make kids give up their love of sugary sodas. I mean, why drink that when you could have gold mllk?

The Persuasive Workshops!

The randomly combined persuasive topic: Time Traveler and raising AstroCats

The Persuasobox gave us: a travel brochure

Using that combination, we imagined a place in the rainforest where travelers from the future to go to get Mindcats -- a rare feline species that could withstand the mind control powers of alien mice that attack the earth centuries from now.

We debated the pros and cons of such an operation. But in the end, the kids decided they didn't trust Mindcat Manor to deliver what they promised. Specifically, they didn't think the time portal was reliable to bring travelers back to the right time. Here, some poor traveler, coming back from getting his own Mindcat, has been taken to the time of the Vikings!

The randomly combined persuasive topic: Scientist and Rescuing Animals

The Persuasobox gave us: an essay on a historical figure

The first thing we did was find a name for our person. A map gave us the name Gastonia and a phone book gave us Sitler. (The kids loved her nickname: Gassie.)

What made her famous was that she stopped the fashion trend of wearing the furs of dead animals by replacing them with live animals trained to lie quietly when draped over someone's neck. This work is why she was given a Friend of the Animals Lifetime Award.

But there's more to her than most people know. Her great failure was that she actually discovered the final species of dragons -- miniature ones that she tried to train with her technique. But when the dragons proved to be dangerous, they were put to sleep. In effect, she was responsible for the disappearance of dragons.

That's why the kids voted thumbs down on her.

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I love random connections! Here's a page that will create random What If Questions to help you start stories!

We had a great time imagining today. That wasn't the only fun thing, though. It was really fun to come up with pros and cons for our wacky combinations.

Rheems kids, when you sit down to write, whether it's persuasive articles or a story, remember: you have great ideas. It's worth the effort of writing to get those ideas into the minds of other people. You can do mind control -- without even having a Mind Cat! When you share your ideas with other people, you can give them new ways to think. That's so cool!

Keep being creative, and 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!
Strange news is happening! Let my Headline Maker give you a really weird headline. Then write a story!

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