with Bruce Van Patter 2008-2009 School Visits

My visit to Marshall Elementary!

This was a great day in a school with young kids eager to share their ideas!

The assembly stories

The four ingredients: a giraffe in a field of chickens looking for a picture up against a jaguar farmer

The story: This giraffe works on a farm. He helps the farmer, who is a jaguar. The farmer is very bossy, though. He makes him work all the time. What the giraffe really wants to do is paint pictures of chickens.

So, one day the giraffe takes chickens out in the field. He hopes he can paint them there and the farmer won't know. But suddenly, the chickens start to flap around. Nobody can't paint moving chickens! Why are they all excited? Because the farmer is coming!


The four ingredients: a giraffe on a beach looking for a friend up against a tiger

The story: Can you believe that in both assemblies, kid chose giraffes for their main characters? This one has a giraffe trying to play ball with a tiger on the beach. The tiger was annoyed at first, but is enjoying leaping on the ball.

A very simple story, but that works just fine for an assembly of all kindergarten and pre-school kids!

Assembly doodles:

these are a few of the drawings which kids made from simple shapes. You all did a wonderful job! I loved them all!

Workshop fun!

Check out these stories which all came from our 45-minute workshops:

This young dinosaur is trying to become a part of a baseball team. He's really good at hunting and decides he can be an outfielder because if the ball rolls into high grass, he can find it. But here, he's having a little trouble! Seems that he's found a chipmunk instead.

My favorite part to this workshop was having the audience sing along with the song I was playing on my laptop: Take Me Out to the Ballgame. It was really sweet.


Isn't this doodle fun? We thought about an elephant balancing on a mountain and came up with a tale about a circus elephant who does a high wire act. How is that possible? The elephant has magic shoes!

But one day, the shoes disappear.

So the elephant goes out to find that a jealous circus dog took them to try to balance up in the mountains. Now the elephant has to try to save the dog without having shoes to help balance!


I absolutely LOVE the pose of this monkey, drawn by a quiet but talented boy. This great drawing got us started thinking about a monkey who cleans houses in a village set in a dormant volcano. Nobody knows he's actually trying to be a super hero!

One day, a lava shark started to press up through the floor of a house he was cleaning. The monkey is afraid of water, but uses a snake to squirt water at the shark and cool him into stone!


In addition to all the free material on this site, I have downloadable books that are perfect for keeping kids writing in school or at home!

(click on books to see)

The Adventures of Pirate Dog
Picture prompts are a great way to inspire kids to write! Here are 26 of my best drawings with fun, pre-writing worksheets

Write Your Own
Cartoons!
Kids can add the
dialogue and their special touches to my funny comic strips filled with wacky characters!

Sparks: Year One
Here’s a fantastic resource for teachers: a whole year of weekly creative writing lessons built around wacky holidays!

More to come!

Today was fun for me because I got to draw the ideas of creative kids. Plus, I had the chance to see some amazing drawings by students, too. This one on the right is by a boy named William. Isn't it incredible? This is an illustration he did after his mom read him The Phantom Tollbooth.

Marshall kids, I have a message for you. You are creative! I knew you would be. Keep putting your ideas down on paper and share them with others.

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