with Bruce Van Patter 2004-2005 School Visits

My visit to Bonfield Elementary!

Making up stories and pictures can be a bit like magic.
But there's really no special trick. Creative people just look at things in new ways. And this school is full of creative kids! We were looking at doodles and squiggles and turning them into interesting characters all day.
Creative minds at work!

I wish we could put down on paper all the things that kids saw in squiggle shapes, but here are a few.

The third one below was a great start for building a character. Not only was the jar a unique idea, but I love how her eyes are looking down. We thought of many reasons for that as we imagined who this girl was.

Assembly stories!

This story, from the first assembly, had a girl looking for her lost kitten in the woods. Little did she know that the kitten had found a new friend... BIGFOOT! I tried to get a book called Bigfoot Ate My Breakfast published years ago, but no luck. Finally, I got to draw him! This is one drawing that really makes me smile. I love how it turned out, especially the cute face on the kitty, and if you knew how hard cats are for me to draw, you'd be proud, too!
And in the second assembly, we had a crazy combination. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I put together a whale/man superhero in London trying to catch a flying #2 with chicken pox with his sidekick, an alligator in a tuxedo! Whew! So here, the numbers are flying off Big Ben, the last working clock in England. It was only after school, when a teacher who had missed the assembly stopped by to say hello, was I able (with her excellent help) to find just the right bad guy -- The Watch Dog! And how about that title, kids!

I love the pressure of coming up with a connection between all the ideas, and in front of a live audience! Fun!

But it's working side-by-side with kids and making their ideas come to life that is the most fun of all

... you showed me that Bonfield kids really do have great ideas! Don't let the fun stop now. Use your ideas, put them down on paper and share them!

Amazing Stories!

Check out these stories:

Vase Off! In this really interesting story, a girl from a village goes on a quest to become the next elected queen. She's trying to win the hearts of the people with some wonderful, home-baked loaves of bread. But the current queen is out to stop her. One push to that vase and the girl's hopes will come crashing down!
Two times during the day, I met with some really bright kindergarteners, eager to make up stories. Here we thought up a great hero: Danger Cat! My favorite comment was when one boy saw me drawing and said, "It almost looks DIGITAL!"
Here's a story that started with the strangest, coolest drawing of a dragon by a student. In The Brother Rescues, you might be confused by which brother is rescuing which. But it's the younger brother who is pretending with the dragon to be in trouble so that his older brother can do something brave!
In The Fake Race, a rich guy has found someone has stolen his identity! The only was they can prove who is who is by racing. But our hero has a silly run the the thief didn't know about!
And don't forget to try out some of the fun things I have on my site. Prowl around. There's something for everyone!
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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