with Bruce Van Patter 2010-2011 School Visits

My visit to Emerson Gridley Elementary!

This was my first visit to an Erie school -- what fun! Just look at the stories we came up with below!

The assembly stories

The four ingredients: a superhero named Zoom on top of a building looking for food shaped like a shoe up against a wizard.

The story: Zoom and his brother Zap don't get along very well. Each one has a power. Zoom can run really fast. Zap can transform things. They're constantly competing, especially for their mother's attention.

So when Zoom buys a wonderful birthday cake for their mom, Zap is jealous. He decides to transform the cake into a sneaker and send it racing across the city. Zoom takes off after it.

But I think Zap has taken it too far if he makes his brother fall off of a building! Somehow Zoom will find a way to save himself.

Brothers. Why can't they just get along?


The four ingredients: an alligator at a waterpark looking for her toy up against a dog

The story: When our alligator girl goes to the pool, she has a wonderful time playing with her rubber ducky. That is, until a dog takes it from her.

But she knows how to get it back!

She steps on three of the four little fountain holes and surprises the dog!

What a simple, fun story!


Workshop fun!

Check out these stories which all came from our 40-minute workshops:

Let's give a big hand for this story!

Actually, it's about a magic glove. A boy is given a magic glove by a man who runs a mysterious shop in his neighborhood. The boy uses it to help people around his home in the city.

But one day he loses the glove, so he goes back and gets another one. He doesn't know that this glove is evil! But just when he's starting to think that there's something wrong, it disappears.

Who took it? At first, he thought it was his little brother. And then a bully. Finally, he finds it on the hand of the shop owner, his old magic teacher.

What's going on? Are all these people stealing the glove?

No. The glove has a mind of its own. But our hero doesn't know that when he wrestles it away from the shop owner. The boy doesn't find out until the middle of the night when the glove starts to slowly creep up the bed to get him!

Creepy story!

An elephant in our story is both a spy and an artist. He's really good at listening in to conversations while he paints in the park.

One day, he finds out that a special toad has been used to hide a secret message. It's written on his tongue! But the toad has been hidden in the park, under ground in a box. An evil tiger is going to pick up the toad later. Our hero elephant has to save the toad first!

So, he listens. He's really good at listening. He actually hears the toad under the dirt and gets him out.

What about the tiger? Our hero distracts him by painting a very realistic toad on a poster.

I like artists who are heroes!

Finally, in this first grade tale, we had a chihuahua that went to the beach. He found a great feather there, perfect for his collection. He put it down in the sand, what he thought was far from the ocean. But the tide came in and took his feather out into the waves. He was afraid of the waves, but he went out into the water to get his feather. Luckily, there was a stone he could stand on under the water to reach his feather. Unluckily, it wasn't a stone, but a shark!

Our smart dog decided to tickle the shark until it took him back to the shore. Then we imagined the shark liked the game so much, he waited every year for the dog to come back and play it with him!

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New on my site!

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

Making up stories is so much fun, and Emerson Gridley kids are so good at making them up!

You all have great imaginations. Use them and put your story ideas down on paper.

Keep up the good work!

And while you're here, check out the fun stuff 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