with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Spartansburg

On my last day in the Corry school district, I had to fight my way through a steady snow on slick roads to get to the school. But it was worth it. I found eager, creative kids waiting. Just check out what their imaginations made!

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: an ancient egyptian in the magical land of leprechauns looking for a camel up against a dolphin in a tutu

The story: this was about as strange a combination that I've had in a long time. First, it took me back a bit to try to draw an egyptian guy; thanks to the teacher who helped by getting reference for me!

The story? There isn't much of one. It's mostly about how the leprechauns go back through time to take a camel to make it into new transportation. There's also worked into it dancing, ballet and a silly camel.


The four ingredients: a lion on a mountain looking for a horse up against a dog

The story: a lion and a dog are friends. The dog wants to explore the mountain, but the lion doesn't want to. She's scared of heights. She likes to stay at home with her lucky toy horse.

The dog gets an idea. He'll take the lucky horse and climb the mountain by himself! But when he gets to a cliff, he drops it! Good thing it was caught by a branch.

But now the two friends have to work together to get the horse back. And I don't think that bird is very happy about them reaching toward her nest!

The workshop stories

In this tale, a sheep finds a little puppy all alone in the field. She wants to protect it and sneak it into the farmer's house so he will make the dog a pet. Unfortunately, a wolf keeps chasing her!

So she traps the wolf in the barn. This is a great plan, because the farmer will go to see what is making all the noise in there.

As the farmer opens the barn door to find the wolf -- riding on top of an angry cow -- the sheep takes the puppy into the house.

What she doesn't realize is that that puppy is actually a wolf cub! No wonder the wolf was chasing her!

What about this interesting combination: a secret agent spy girl who lives on a farm! In this story, a girl wants to belong to a group of kids at her high school. She's really shy, so she begins to spy on them to gather knowledge of their interests. She makes displays for each of the girls in her secret headquarters in the loft of the barn.

But here's the problem -- her brother. He's a pest. And he wants to unveil her as the spy that she is. So he sends out an invitation for the girls to come to a party in the barn. When they get there, he shows them the booths about each of them. They're all creeped out.

But then, they start to read about all the nice things the girl says about them in the booths. They see how much she's really learned about them, how well she knows them. And they decide she's pretty cool after all. If she'll stop all the creepy spying!

Finally, here's a great tale about an inventor kid. Isn't that drawing on the right wonderful? That inspired us to dream up a story about a kid who sneaks into a science lab and steals inventions in order to learn how they work.

But there's a guard robot who is programmed to track down anyone who steals from the lab.

The boyd decides to make his pet monkey do his dirty work. But when the robot tracks the monkey back to his lab and grabs the poor little guy, our inventor kid decides to save his pet.

How? By dropping a little electronic disabling bug into an opening in the robot's casing. It should work. But will it?

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

What a great day! We were able to get kids from 2nd grade through 6th grade into workshops. And as you can see by the stories above, they really invented some creative tales. I really enjoyed working with them!

So, Sparty kids, you realized that you have active imaginations. Don't let them go to waste.

Keep being creative, and check out the fun stuff on my site!

And thanks again for the goodies! I do love chocolate and maple syrup! Yum!

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