with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Coebourn Elementary!

Check out these stories:

The four ingredients: a magical woman in a spooky mansion who wants to be famous with a silly sidekick of her son who has his own powers and wants to stop her.

The story: Those four elements are so descriptive that I'm not sure I can add much to the story in the telling, except to say that the boy wants to play in a basketball game, but the mom wants to turn him into a dog. That's her plan to become famous.

But he turns the spell back on her! It was fun to make her look like she was turning into a dog.

That woman's plan is dog gone!

Want to motivate young writers in your life?

This book can help!

I've collected 39 of my weekly emails to teachers on creative writing into one downloadable book. Kids Can Love to Write captures the essence of my approach to making writing fun for kids. Whether you have an enthused young writer or one that needs big motivation, this book will show you how to get the most out of their imaginative minds.

Find other creative writing helps at my store!


New on my site!

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



The four ingredients: a dinosaur on a beach who wants a baseball mitt up against a bulldog

The story: our hero decides he wants to play baseball on the beach. His friend, a bulldog, takes his mitt to play the outfield. But he goes to far out -- into the water!

He thinks he's standing on a rock, but it's not!

I tried to sneak in the OUT in the title after I was done drawing it. I just think it reads better. That dog is way out!

Workshop stories

This doodle on the right seems pretty simple, but we imagined that the little oval thing above her raised hand was actually a baby cloud the girl made. She found a book on weather that helps her create weather! Why does she want to do that? To see if she can find her parents who disappeared in a tornado!

Unfortunately, before she could solve the riddle of her missing parents, someone takes her book! She tracks it down by the gathering storm she sees that is starting in the town park. She goes to find out what's happening.

There she finds a boy who is using the book to create a tornado. He's not a bad guy -- he's her brother, who was separated from her when they were just little. And he's trying to find their parents, too.

I liked putting the hint of the parents in the tornado.


Here's another missing relative story. This boy went on a fishing boat ride with his grandmother when a great wave swept over the boat and his grandmother was gone. The boy keeps coming out in the boat to find her. Each time a wave washes over the boat, leaving behind a sea creature.

Our hero has the power to connect to sea creatures and learn an ability from them. So when a starfish (can you see it on the face of the boy in the doodle?) gives him the power to climb down a dangerous undersea rock wall, he sets off to find his granma.

There she is! But guess what? She's happy in a bubble under the sea, where she rules as a queen of the creatures, guarded by a giant octopus. The boy's going to have a hard time getting her to come back!


Lastly, here is a story about polar bear that has found a magical ice crystal that gives him the power to turn things into ice. What does he do with it? Freeze fish. He's too afraid of fish to eat them live.

But there's someone who is tired of his freezing all the fish: the fish king. He lives up on top of a frozen mountain, where a stream takes the fish down to the bears below.

The king fish swims down, takes the ice crystal and swims back up to his kingdom. The bear follows and faces down the fish in the king's hall. But just then, there is a strange sound: a drip of water! How could there be melting ice? The mountain is actually a volcano that is coming to life!

So the fish and the bear race down the frozen stream while the bear tries to slow down the flowing lava behind them.

This is one cool story!

I had a great time with this school full of creative kids and kind, appreciative teachers. Everyone was so energized to think creatively. And my thanks go to all those teachers who got kids ready for my visit by reading my books to them and taking them to my website.

Coebourn kids, you are truly creative! Now, what will you do with all this excitement you have about your ideas? I hope you'll put some down on paper. Find a friend if you need to and work together on a project. Then after you have it down, make sure you share it with others. Thanks to all who shared their ideas and stories with me today -- I loved them all!

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

back to main page
programs Fun stuff for families schools reviews bio store
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!
Over a hundred million wacky headlines wait for you to make them into a story!

click on the images to go to the writing activities