with Bruce Van Patter 2004-2005 School Visits

My visit to Salladasburg Elementary!

And what a wonderful jungle! Kids had decorated the libary with hanging vines and frogs and snakes. I loved it. It showed me that I was in for a day with really creative kids. Thanks for all the hard work you all put into making me feel welcome.
Peeking over the shoulders of thinkers...
I have kids drawing and thinking all day, imagining what shapes could turn into, then turning drawings into characters. It's fun to let the imagination roam!
Here are the ingredients given to me for this story: a t-rex, in a pool, after a floatie up against a bull-dog. So I decided the dinosaur is bragging that he's a great surfer, when actually he's afraid of the water. When forced to show his stuff, he tries standing on a raft. He didn't think about the dog who owned the raft. I think this t-rex will make a big splash at this pool party!
For the older kids, I noticed twin girls in the sea of hands wanting to be picked for my Imagination Team. So I brought them up, and added an extra ingredient for the story. Here are the ingredients given to me for this story: a dog with a goose as his sidekick, at a baseball park, looking for a dodo bird (!) up against a pirate! So I tied them together like this: a dog who researches rare animals goes to a ball game. The mascot looks familiar to him -- it's a dodo bird, thought to be extinct! He goes out on the field to protect him, but the manager of the Pirates isn't too happy about him taking his mascot. Now, I will confess, I don't know what a dodo looks like, but after school in the library, I looked one up. Not bad. Not bad.
I always have such a look of intensity when I draw. It's just concentration, I guess.
And so, another year of inspiring kids ends. As I head off into the hills, I want to remind you Salladasburg students: the summer is a great time to put your ideas down on paper. Grab some friends, and make some stories this summer!

Remember... you have great ideas. Share them!

Amazing Tales!

Check out these workshop stories:

The Unicorn's Trap. A young unicorn loves to sneak into the King's castle, steal his candy and hide it in a secret cave that only she can open with her little horn. When the king kid-naps her father so he can ride the unicorn into battle, she lures the king out with candy and then traps him in her cave until he promises to let her father go. This was a really well thought out tale with lots of interesting ideas. And I even let us do a unicorn, even though I'm terrible at drawing horses!
Here's another story with a great beginning idea: a flying tree-house! This girl lands her house in a forest, not knowing she wrecked the King Squirrel's home. He steals her remote to the treehouse and won't give it back until she brings him the broomstick of the... wait, that's another story... she brings him an acorn from the King Oak, so he can grow a new home.
In The High-Five Swap, a nerdy is mad that the cool kid in school never high-fives him. So he invents a glove that will swap their personalities if they slap hands. He tricks the popular kid into high-fiving. And ZAP! Now the nerd is popular. We spent much time thinking through the popular kid, and thought his constant smiling might be hiding something -- we thought it should be that he doesn't know who he is, so he's disguising it behind a smile.
Then there's Magneto Pup. This has another great starter-idea: a dog with magnetic paws. She's given that strange power by, get this, an evil scientist-pirate! They're off on a quest to find the key to open a treasure chest they dug up. We brainstormed a bunch of places the keys could be hiding. In this one, it's around the neck of one tough dog. The music I played while drawing was called -- how cool is this -- "A Handful of Keys"!
This school had this great idea -- to give kids notebooks in which to jot down their ideas. And the kids illustrated the covers themselves, without knowing what they were for! That is so cool!
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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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