with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Congers Elementary!

What a great day! Everything came together -- great ideas and drawings that just seemed to work. Here are the stories we invented.

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a friendly girl at Antarctica looking for a polar bear eating a taco up against a guy riding a horse

The story: A friendly girl goes on vacation to the South Pole, where global warming has turned it into a warm paradise. A polar bear comes all the way south to cool off on ice only to find one chunk left!

He's really hungry, so he grabs a taco from the local restaurant, the Burrito Bandito. But since he didn't pay, the guy who owns the store comes riding out after him.

Good thing the girl is there to give him a welcoming hug!


The four ingredients: a dog in a dress on a pirate ship looking to learn something up against a puppy

The story: our hero this story is a girl who wants to go to a fancy party but has to babysit her little brother. He promises to let her go if she'll play on his pirate ship. It's just an old boat out by a dock.

He wants her to do one more thing: feed his pet. She thinks, "Sure, it's just an imaginary pet."

I guess she was a little surprised!

The Workshop Stories

This is a fun story about an elephant who has a lucky peanut. One day, the peanut is missing! Who took it? The monkey with whom he never gets along. Mean monkey!

Here's how mean he is: he put the peanut at the top of a mountain where the wind comes from. (We got that idea from the doodle we made on the right.) The elephant goes to get it and there is the monkey laughing at him. But then, the wind starts to blow from the hole in the mountain. It blows the monkey right off the top! But the elephant saves him and has only one more reach to get his peanut!


I'll admit it. I don't like to draw grandmothers. They're just not my thing. But this story was so good, I made myself try.

We imagined a cool tale where a girl suspects that her grandmother is a famous criminal who was never caught.

How does she know that? Because she found an ancient artifact that she knew had never been recovered after it was stolen years ago.

But she just isn't sure, so while she's at her grandma's weekly party, she sneaks through the house, trying to find Edison's glasses -- something she thinks her grandma might have. And she finds them! But her grandma has found her!


Here's another really inventive story. A teddy bear knows that he is really good at making nightmares go away for the boy who owns him. But one day, the boy disappears into a nightmare. So the bear keeps trying to have the same nightmare so he can rescue him.

In the picture, we can see the bear ready to challenge the Nightmare King for the boy. What's the challenge? A pillow fight! Only, the bear has a secret ingredient in his pillow. He's got two of his squirrel friends who will take on the King while the bear rescues his boy.

Way to go Teddy!


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!

I loved drawing for the kids today. The ideas were so original and fun, they were easy to put into a picture.

But do you know what I really enjoyed? Seeing the ideas of kids take shape by their own hands. Here's a shot of one of my Doodle Team turning a couple of squiggles into one crazy drawing of a weird guy. That's an original!

Congers kids -- you have wonderful ideas! Thanks for working with me today as we made stories. Keep it up. Remember to share your stories after you get them down on paper. Sharing is a big part of the fun!

Feel free to check out the fun stuff I have 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!
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