with Bruce Van Patter 2004-2005 School Visits

My visit to Rush Elementary!

What do you get when you cross an illustrator with a school full of creative kids?

There is something amazing that happens when kids brainstorm. At first the ideas come out like a trickle, then, when they see how much fun it can be to let their imaginations loose, the ideas come pouring out. For instance, in the picture above, you can see that three characters were drawb in one workshop story. The two on the far right were the main characters, and I had the boys develop one and the girls the other. What fun!

Creative minds at work!

Here are some of my excellent doodlers hard at work. So many kids added their touches to the day -- some with drawing, many others with ideas.

For instance, check out these stories...

This story, from the first assembly, puts a dog in a haunted mansion. He wants friends, so when they tell him to spend a night in the mansion, he agrees. What he doesn't know is that there is a WHALE in the mansion's pool! (It's a big mansion, okay?) I think he may have found a better friend in the whale!
And in the second assembly, a lion tries to get work as a scarecrow on a farm (in OHIO, okay?). His pal, a hamster, is to tell him when the crows are coming. But when the hamster needs help to be saved from the crows, the lion realizes he can't reach him! And yes, those are ladybug slippers on the lion. Guess he swiped them from the old farmlady.

Great minds think alike. See the plane on the left? It's by the art teacher; she had it up on her wall. It reminded me of the plane I had illustrated years ago. We've both got guys with goggles, with their thumbs up, in a plane with stars on its wings!


Remember, kids -- you are creative! Keep that imagination rushing, like a stream in the springtime. It's so much fun to make up stories, isn't it? Share your ideas with others!

And remember to check out the fun stuff on my site!

Great Stories!

Check out these stories:

Breaker's Bad Day. A boy has the bad luck of breaking everything he plays with. When he does, he calls up his older sister on his cell phone and she tells him how to fix it. In this story, though, he breaks his sister's Playstation! Now what can he do? He calls his genius uncle, but the boy -- Breaker -- has to keep his sister busy while the uncle fixes it. So Breaker goes with her to the mall, and starts to play with expensive things!

It's nearly Valentine's Day, and love is in the air! Well, at least Cupid's arrows are. This is such an interesting story: a man is trying out to be Cupid's helper. He has only one arrow, and has been given an assignment. But then he can't decide if he'll shoot the person he was told to make fall in love, or if he'll use it on the girl he wants to have love him. He better be careful -- Cupid is watching!

Here's one strange story, that started with a rooster arm-wrestling a turkey over an egg. When the rooster wins, he gets more than he bargained for. It turns out the egg is a dinosaur egg! Yikes! The rooster tries to teach the young dino how to be a chicken, but I don't think he's very good, do you? What do you expect from a Dino-Chicken?
Great stories start with great characters. That's what I teach the kids. Here you can see some of the kids who were brave enough to come up and draw in front of the class, to get us started on our characters.

And thanks to everyone who gave me pictures during the day! I loved your artwork!

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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