with Bruce Van Patter 2006-2007 School Visits

My return (again!) to Penn Kidder!

I visit a lot of schools. Just in the last two years, I've visited nearly 70 of them. Some stand out in the crowd, though, because they're special. Penn Kidder is one of them. It's always fun to come back and invent stories with these kids. Today was another day of inventive workshops.

The Workshop Stories

What we thought was interesting about this drawing on the right is that the fox has a collar! That means it's not your every day, regular fox!

So we thought it would be interesting to make that collar have a magic coin on it that the fox's owner wants back. He, of course, is some kind of wizard who lives out in the woods.

What you see in this picture is the wizard chasing the fox and his friend. He's given her the real collar while he is wearing a fake. Hopefully, he'll confuse the wizard in to chasing the wrong fox!


This was a fun drawing of a boy whose hand gets a mind of its own. And the hand gets him into trouble. How did it happen?

Up on the roof of his apartment building is a woman who grows strange plants in her roof-top garden. She tells him not to pick anything. He doesn't obey, but as he picks this flower, it transforms his hand into a "monster" hand!

I liked drawing the face on the hand. I wasn't sure if it would work, but it turned out pretty cool, I think.


I have never created a story around a butterfly in all my sessions in schools. That's why I decided to let the student artist I chose turn our doodle into a butterfly.

And what makes this story even more fun is that it's a superhero butterfly! I think that's funny: a dainty butterfly that's bold and daring. Here you can see it fluttering in the face of a cat who's trying to attack one of the local bully moths.


This is a fun story about a kid who disguises himself as a pirate. None of his crew know he's just a kid, or that his mom is the ship's cook!

In our story, his mom gets kidnapped by a rival pirate who wants to romance her with a fancy island dinner. When our pirate goes to help, he slips into quicksand, and then gives away his -- and her -- secret identities.

I loved playing my pirate music while I drew, and then, when my caribbean dance music came on, it seemed to fit just right with the rival pirate's dinner party!


Here are two stories from the younger grades. In the story on the left, a bunny princess goes out to tame, not kill, a dragon, which she does with her trusty recorder. You can see her riding on top of the dragon in the last picture.

Then in the story above, a tiger knight goes for a vacation on the beach. There, a shark tries to scare him away. But our tiger hero has brought some fruit juice in a fancy bottle and he decides to share it with the shark to make it more friendly.


So, thanks to everyone who made the day such a success. It's easy to forget, when you're working so hard all year at the rules of writing, that stories are fun things. I hope the time we had together reminded you that making up stories is a real blast.

Keep it up, Penn Kidder kids! Your ideas are worth sharing!

Don't forget to check out the fun stuff I have 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