with Bruce Van Patter 2005-2006 School Visits

My visit to Hosack Elementary!

Hosack not only has open classrooms, it has kids with minds open to new ideas!

The assembly stories

The four ingredients: a genius kid with a giant brain in a mall looking for a way out with a troublemaker as a silly sidekick

The story: Pity our poor hero. He's stuck in a mall after it closed and he can't find a way out. So he invents a kind of computer balloon, which tells him which way to escape. Unfortunately the only way out is up! Then his silly sidekick grabs the balloon, and the guard is about to grab our genius hero!

The four ingredients: a polar bear in a school looking for a pencil up against a fox

The story: It's hard to be a kid and have things taken from you. This bear lost his favorite pencil. Then he finds out that this fox has taken it and claims it's his! So at lunch, the polar bear gives him more than a cold shoulder -- he puts the ice block from his frozen fish lunch on the fox's chair! Looks like the bear will get his pencil back after all.

Story characters:

can you match these doodles characters to the workshop stories below from which they came?

Workshop fun!

Check out these stories which all came from our one hour workshops:

A cat. who is constantly giving his owner trouble, decides to enter a contest. The first pet that can get its collar off gets to be wild and free! So our cat is trying to think of ways of escaping his collar.

The students in the workshop helped me think of ideas that the cat could use for escaping. I drew my favorite: a large animal could try to shake him loose. I decided that the other animals that's competing against the cat should be a chihuahua.

Funny story!

This interesting mystery all started with a fantastic drawing by a girl of a man with a cape. We decided that he has a curse on him which makes him invisible by day. But at night, he's hard to find because of his swooping black cape.

He has to find a relative who will touch him in the daytime to break the curse. Here he is showing a family heirloom ("Woooo!") to his only living relative to prove he's not some evil man of mystery.

Here's another story with a great concept: a blind man has to decide if he wants to find his lost dog or take a girl to a concert. Seems that when they were going to the park to hear a blues band, his dog ran off. Now he's got a tough choice.

This was a great chance to talk about how sometimes in stories the problem doesn't come from a bad guy, but from two "wants" in the character that conflict. In the end, our hero doesn't have to choose: the dog ran away to be in the band!

So the wheel turns and another school visit is over.

But just because our time together is history, don't let your ideas stop flowing. Listen, Hosack kids: you are really creative! Your ideas are like treasure. Dig them out and share them with others!

And while you're here, check out the fun stuff on my site!

back to main page programs Fun stuff for families schools reviews bio
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