with Bruce Van Patter 2006-2007 School Visits

My visit to Akron Elementary!

I felt like an Akron All-Star when I drove up in the morning to find this sign welcoming me. It gave me a good feeling about how the day would go.

And what a great day! Some of the best stories to come out of a school were invented today. There were wonderful kids who were so ready and willing to get involved in being creative. It was a real treat to guide them in that!

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a bunny in a jungle wants a flat-screen TV and is up against a cow!

The story: A cow goes shopping for a flat-screen TV and takes her bunny friend along with her to help. But once the bunny sees his favorite show on the TV, he HAS to have it! A chase starts and continues all the way to the distant rainforest! Will this bunny never give up?

And... I wondered this later: how is the TV plugged in? Ooops!

The four ingredients: a fairy wants a lucky t-shirt is at a motorcycle dealer and has a silly sidekick of a mutated squirrel.

The story: a guy finds a fairy and makes a bargain. For granting his wish, he'll give her his cool t-shirt. But when she grants him his motorcycle, he thinks he'll just zoom off without giving up his shirt! I've never had to draw a motorcycle before. Good thing the custodian is a Harley rider!

The story: our hero d

The Workshop Stories

A pirate's dog has stolen the key to the treasure box so that he could hide his bones in a safe place. But a cat -- named Sissycat -- has found the key and has a plan to become the pirate's favorite pet.

I loved the idea of other animals sitting on the perch of a pirate's shoulder. Why should it always be a parrot? Why can't it be a dog or a cat?

This drawing has made it into the very select category of My Favorite Drawings list. I'm proud of the drawing, but I think I like the story even more!

Why is a pig on a quest? To get eggs, of course! He doesn't like the slop the farmer gives him, so he sneaks into the house to cook his famous meal, a HAY omelette!

But since he's stealing all the eggs, the farmer sells off the chickens because he thinks they don't lay any eggs. Oh no! Now the pig has to travel to the new farm to find his precious ingredients. But he can only carry six back.

We had fun thinking of things that could happen to the eggs on the way back. I don't know if he's going to get to use that last one. That chicken looks pretty mad!

Here's another wonderful story, that I really think is worthy of a chapter book. In this tale, an old man is determined to catch a magical fish in the town pond.

Nobody believes he can do it, since he's been trying all his life with no success. Then one day he does it! He catches the fish and gets one wish. He wishes to be young again.

But there's a problem. None of his friends believes he is who he says he is. He doesn't look like the old man anymore! So not only doesn't he get the respect for the catch, he realizes that he'd rather be an old man again. But to do that, he has to catch the fish again!

It isn't often I have a title that works two ways: The Wishing Fish or The Fishing Wish!

The great stories just kept coming! Here's another one. When a girl goes to visit friends in a wintery town, they tell her not to sled down a certain hill. It seems a scary man lives in a cabin at the bottom.

But our hero is a determined girl. Ever since her dad left her when she was really little, she's had to be tough and stand up for herself. So she tries the hill.

It's faster than she expected. She crashes right into the front door of the cabin!

The door opens and a hairy, scary guy appears. He's worried about her, so he brings her in to warm her up so she can call her mom. He makes his special caramel hot chocolate for her. As she sips it, she seems to remember this smell, this taste. Then it comes to her -- her dad used to make this for her when she was really little.

Could this be her dad? What is he doing here in a lonely cabin?

A turtle goes to bring some spaghetti to a rabbit friend who broke his arm. But he runds into trouble on the way. Only two noodles are left when he gets there! But that's okay, he and his bunny friend have a noodle-sucking contest!

It was fun to get the kids to do an imaginary noodle-sucking contest with me.

It turns out that they're very fast at slurping imaginary noodles!

So, thanks to all to everyone who made the day such a great time. I hope everyone sees how easy it is to make up a story, and how much fun it can be.

Hey Akron All-Stars! You are creative! You have great ideas. Keep putting them down on paper and sharing them with others.

And check out the fun stuff I have 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!

click on the images to go to the writing activities