with Bruce Van Patter 2010-2011 School Visits

My visit to Roberge Elementary!

It was so much fun to return to this great school and to do an assembly for everyone! Just look at the fun stories we invented.

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a sheep at a park looking for his giant ball up against a wolf

The story: our hero, Mark the sheep, goes to a park to play with his big ball. His friend, the wolf, comes with him. But his wolf friend doesn't play very nicely. He kicks the ball so hard, it goes into the pond.

Mark's upset. He tells the wolf to go get the ball. The wolf can't swim, but tries anyway, because he feels bad about what he's done.

When he starts to sink and hangs onto the ball for dear life, Mark decides that he'll stop being mad and help him out.

Since it was Dr. Seuss's birthday, I thought it was fun that we had a rhyming title. I added a few other "ark" words later.


The four ingredients: an explorer in an undersea kingdom looking for his cat up against a fashion model

The story: I loved the name of this character, given to me by a student, so much, I had to put it in the title. The story has to do with a young explorer who is trying to find his cat, which fell into the ocean and never came back up.

What happened to it? A mermaid has transformed it into a fish so that she can have it as a fashion accessory.

The Workshop Stories

In this story, we started with a fun concept -- a girl who enters a reality program called Who Wants to Date an Alien. She thinks she has a great shot at winning. And if the alien boy gives her any trouble, she says she has a Alien Martial Arts move. Actually, she just makes silly swooshing moves with her hands, but nobody wants to tell her how bad her move is.

We liked the idea that in the end of the story, she wins the date with the boy alien and they go to her favorite spot, the beach. But just then, an alien creature that has been looking for the boy shows up.

She's trying out her move. Do you think it's going to work?


Here's another girl with an amazing ability. She has a magical cape that can transport her through time. She has to go back to keep a space monkey from having a spell cast on it -- one that will gradually turn it into a rampaging monster. She goes back in time to her parents' school to stop that original spell.

Guess who cast that first spell? Her mom. So she's got to make her mom fail her final exam in magic in order to save everyone.

How does she know all this? From a talking apple that's been around all this many years. That's one unique sidekick!


And rounding out Day One was this third grade story that has a weasel that is good at stealing special food from the birds in the forest. Once a year they have a feast with all their found food. Last year, he took the food in a briefcase.

But this year, just when all his weasel relatives are waiting for him to bring the food, something goes wrong!

The briefcase is missing!

The birds took it! He goes back to get it, using his power to distract them so he can grab the case. But he wasn't counting on the birds bringing a big relative in to guard it!

I wonder how our hero will weasel out of this problem!


When a girl, who loves nature in the swamp, finds a strange, little alligator, she picks it up. It bites her, breaking off a tooth in her arm. That's bad, but this is worse: the gator was a mutant and soon the girl finds her arm is turning hard and scaly. She's becoming an alligator.

So she sets off to track the creature, racing against time and against an evil researcher who wants to capture her!

I liked how we worked into this story that double trouble -- not only the usual bad guy, but using TIME as a problem!

This gives me goosebumps. Oh no, does that mean I'm turning into a goose!!!???


For the most complex story of this two-day visit, this tale concerns a young emperor who sneaks out from his misty island palace to bring his new toys to play with a village girl he met while once traveling in his carriage.

One day, he receives a special new plaything -- a puzzle box that when the trick is solved, opens up to reveal a note and a key.

The note says, "Use this key to find the truth."

He sets out with the girls help to find the house that the key will open. When they finally overcome all the obstacles and open the door to a strange house, they find a man inside. Not only is he the girl's father, but he claims to be the real emperor!


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New on my site!

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

So, thanks to everyone for the fun day with all these stories. These stories were wonderful! Well done, kids -- I love your great imaginations! I told you that you had great story ideas. How I love to be right about things. So, now, don't let the fun stop. Keep those stories flowing.

Remember... you have great ideas. Share them!
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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!
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