with Bruce Van Patter 2003-2004 School Visits

My visit to Brandywine-Wallace Elementary!

After a day in this school, I really have to say...
When I walked in the school, I immediately was struck by how the walls were covered with amazing artwork. That made me even more excited to work with the kids. When a school has an art program that produces pieces like these...
... I know these kids are having opportunities to keep their creative side growing! And they sure showed their strength of their imaginations by the stories they came up with during the day.
I only have one picture to show you from the assemblies, but this one is useful to point out something I try to tell the kids in every school: take chances. Don't worry if the finished product is the best you've seen. Sometimes it won't turn out. Like my vulture above. It's not the first vulture I've drawn in a school, but it's certainly not the best. But I tried. That's the important thing. Just like my vulture, I went out on a limb and tried something that's a little hard for me. A little new for me.

But unlike the vulture, no branch broke underneath me when it didn't go exactly the way I wanted. It's really not that big a risk to try out new ideas. And the payoff is worth it! Coming up with that new idea that your friends think is cool is worth any little embarrassment that might come from messing up a little.

And when you take chances, like in brainstorming, you end up with funny stories like this one: a babysitter goes up against a really, really naughty kid!

A couple final thoughts:

Hey, kids, I've got to hand it to you. You did some fantastic brainstorming with me!

Don't let the fun end. Keep using your imaginations. Try some of the stuff I've put up on this site, like The Story Kitchen. Or make up your own story using one of my drawings on KidTales. Or try one of my fun activities!

Most of all, stay creative!
Way-Cool Workshops!

Don't we all love and at the same time hate technology? My new digital camera gave out before I could take pictures of all the workshop drawings. So until I get emailed pictures, here is just a glimpse at the fun we had.

What a funny, funny story this was! Elvis's cousin (or was it brother?) wants to get a name for himself in a rock & roll contest, but needs magic to help him. He gets a magic hat at a wizard's store, but from a worker kids who had just started working there. So instead of getting a "Makes You a Fabulous Singer" Hat, Melvis gets a "Transforms Into Animals" Hat! Any guesses as to what Elvis song I was playing as I drew this one? Check below for the answer.
This story is so complicated, I can't describe it in just a few words, but it has a great main character who has a talent of picking-pockets. His town thought he might be just the person to get rid of a giant who has been jilted at the altar on his wedding day and is eating everything in sight! Really a fun tale!
If you're wondering why there are so many pictures of me here and so few of the kids, it's because of the school policy of not allowing pictures of students on the web without parental permission. I won't comment on the policy, I'll just respect the school's wishes. And fill with lots of shots of me. Sorry.
Is this where they came up with the term, "bright ideas?"
The answer to the Melvis song was, of course, "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear."
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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!
Here are a bunch of actual drawings I've done in schools. Use them to write your own story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities