with Bruce Van Patter 2004-2005 School Visits

My visit to Mill Creek Towne Elementary!

Do you know what excites me? The thought that in every mind of every child, ideas are growing. But just like with flowers, there are ways we can help those ideas blossom. Having the right kind of garden soil helps. That's what I found in this school: great ground for ideas!

Kids showed me their creativity through their doodles and through all the story ideas they came up with during the day.

Let me show you what I mean:
In the first assembly, my Imagination Team gave me a T-Rex in a playground, searching for treasure up against a monkey. So I had to put in monkey bars, of course! Only this monkey is brave enough to stop this dinosaur who is looking for treasure buried along time ago by a relative. I think I made his face a little too much like a parrot!

My second team thought up a real strange one: a rhino-boy is in a dog house, looking for a penguin with one french fry and he has his faithful side-kick, a forgetful pig. So I had it that the penguin is an evil scientist who used strange french-fries to change the boy into a rhino. The boy wants to get turned back but can't seem to find the penguin. I guess rhinos don't have good eyesight!
Today, I did something different. Every workshop got the same shape to work with. Look at all the different characters kids came up with. Can you match them to the stories?.
I even had, at one point, dueling doodlers! Two girls thought they saw elephants, so I let them both try. Then we worked them both into the story.

What a great, long, fun day!

Hey kids -- your ideas are blossoming! Let them grow. Share them with others. Feed your minds.

Why not try out some of the activities I have right here on my site? You can find a list of them at fun stuff. Remember, if you want a great idea, have lots of ideas!

Ready, set... imagine!

Check out these stories:

In this kindergarten story, a turtle wants to impress his friends by how fast he is. So he uses an invisible skateboard. But the inventor turtle isn't happy that nobody knows it's really HIS invention! So he makes it appear, right after the turtle wins a race. I think the inventor turtle is funny with his mustache and spiky hair.
Gee, that pose looks familiar! In A Date at Misery Park, there is a fabulous idea: an amusement park for grumpy people. We had so much fun thinking of rides and food for the park, we didn't work out much of this story, but I just love this story idea!
When a pig hides cookies he steals from the farmer's wife, he puts them in The Cookie Chest. He wants to enter a baking contest, but finds the cookies are gone! What the pig doesn't know is that the farmer has taken them. He also doesn't know that the farmer's wife LET the pig steal the cookies so the farmer wouldn't eat them!
A boy elephant has been sneaking to a special science school in Keep It Under Your Hat. He plans to cheat to pass a big test, and was hiding the cheat-sheet inside his beanie. But it's dissapeared! Could his father know about his secret school?
In The Curse of the Happy Girl, a girl gets in trouble with her wizard teacher by making fun of him. Now she can't stop being cheerful. If only she could get someone -- even her brother -- to insult her, then the spell would be broken. And she'd learn her lesson!
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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

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