with Bruce Van Patter 2010-2011School Visits

My visit to Forest Grove!

This was an interesting visit, split between two schools. On the first day, I saw all but the fifth grade in Forest Grove, and then on the second day, traveled to the middle school to see 6th grade, then packed up and went back to the first school to see the 5th grade. All in all, it was a creative group of kids!

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a dog at a school looking for a strange animal up against an alligator

The story: A dog brings his pet bird into school. During the classes, everything goes well. But at recess, he decides to play tag with the bird and his friends. They call it Catch the Bird.

But one of his classmates is not very nice. He tries to catch the bird with his mouth!

That's not playing by the rules!


The four ingredients: a cowboy in the jungle looking for a jewel up against a border guard

The story: Our hero is a cowboy that loves to ride on all kinds of things. One day he gets a magic saddle. When he sits on it, he can fly! The saddle's magic comes from a gem that has power.

He rides the saddle one day through the sky to a rainforest park. In the park, a monkey steals the power jewel. What makes things worse is that the monkey is the pet of the man who guards the park from unwanted visitors.

How will we get Giddy up in the air again?

The 4th grade workshop stories

In this tale, a young sailor likes to go to a mysterious island. On the island, he's found people who live in secret. They like him to come and visit them so that they can all have parties. They were left there long ago by a band of pirates.

Why don't they leave? Because an octopus guards the water around the island and scares them back onto the land.

When the boy hears, he wants to help.

So he catches the octopus and throws it up on the rocks so that the people can escape. The octopus, gasping for breath, tries to tell the boy that the real danger is the ghost of the pirate that the octopus kept away from the people! The boy had better get the poor octopus back into the sea!


We decided to give this Viking boy wings. He got the wings from a wizard in a cave who handed out magical rocks to a number of the teenagers in the village. Each one was given wings by the rocks' magic.

But the stones start to disappear. Someone is taking them. Who? The boy tracks down the thief and finds that it is... the wizard! The old man didn't like that the young people who had wings used them for evil, raiding villages. The wizard tells our hero that he has one more chance to use the wings for good.

The problem is that he has to lead a raid the next day!

When he leads the Vikings into the village the next day, the Viking men start to take all the treasure boxes. Then they find out that the boxes are all filled with hay! The boy tricked them. He went to the village the night before and warned the people.

When the angry Vikings threaten him, who saves him? The wizard. He's happy about the choice the boy made.


Finally, in this story, we have magic cereal. This girl with the glasses won it at a carnival. When she eats it, it makes her braver and more outgoing. She joins in the neighborhood games and impresses everyone.

So the girl across the street, who always wears stripes, finds the source of our hero's power. The neighbor girl steals the box. Then the chase begins.

In the end, they have to brave a scary house and dog to get the box from the dog who took it inside. On the way out, though, our hero gets stuck in the dog door. That's when Stripe Girl decides to try the cereal. But there's no magic for her! I wonder what happened!


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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!



Our stories just got started when I had to draw them. Many details were missing. And talking about a story isn't the same as doing the hard work to actually write it. But I hope everyone saw how much fun it is to imagine. What's so great about writing stories is it's like a magical land -- anything can happen!

Keep writing your stories and don't forget to share them with your friends. Remember, the more you let others enjoy your ideas, the more you'll enjoy them, too.

Don't forget to check out some of the fun stuff I have on my site!

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