with Bruce Van Patter 2004-2005 School Visits

My visit to Hambright Elementary!

I love a school that loves the arts. Hambright Elementary has a long tradition of Fine Arts Day, when local artists come in and share their ideas with students. How cool is that! I was really glad I could be a part of it. Though outside it was a beautiful spring day, inside was bright with ideas! Later, after school, as I finished up my drawings, I went outside and soaked in the spring air.

A day to celebrate ideas!

After two workshops with 6th grade (read about that in the column on the right), I met with students in two fun-packed assemblies. Strangely enough, both stories gave me a main character which was a snake-like creature, first a snake and then a worm. That's the first time I had to make up TWO stories about a hero without arms, legs, hands or feet.

So the one student wanted the snake to find feet. In a basement. Trying to get a $5000 dollar bill, and up against an evil teacher. I told the kids we were really using our imagination to come up with such an impossible thing like an evil teacher. So the snake is trying to rescue his mom, who is a snake worth -- that's right -- $5000.

The second hero was IncrediWorm! He's actually an evil scientis superhero worm. He has a ray that will pull the moon in close so that he can bring up out of the Egyptian desert some mummy Night Crawlers. The bright moonlight will awaken them. His silly sidekick, Boxer Boy, just wants to get some sleep. He's definitely not helping IncrediWorm. Maybe that's what makes him a sillly sidekick.


Hey kids, keep stretching yourselves. Try new things. Really look at things around you. And most of all, put your ideas onto paper and share them with others. It's the best way to stay being creative!

Sixth grade has a sixth sense for stories!

Two workshops produced lots of laughter and a flood of ideas. Here are the two stories that developed.

The Problem with Magical Pets. This started with the pair of imaginative drawers below. We took the same shape and created two different characters. We kept adding things as we went. The guy on the right ended up with a magical frog that he carried in his mouth! The guy likes this girl, but sad to say, their magical pets don't get along. Only when the two humans go on a date in the swamp do the creatures finally find common ground. Common squishy ground, that is.
With this story, the opening doodle was a man in a sleeping bag. So we developed two wonderful ideas: 1) a guy who likes Extreme Camping -- that's camping near natural disasters; and 2) a guy who keeps his mom in the attic whenever he has friends sleep over. We went with the second option and added that his mom was a wzardess. When he wants to cast a spell to make her disappear, he has to sleep on the floor of the room and try to sneak a spell book without waking her! It's not going so well here.

I love all the ideas that were flying around today, not only in my sessions, but in the other workshops as well. My thanks go out to the young artist who shared her work with me!

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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!

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