with Bruce Van Patter 2005-2006 School Visits

My visit to Twin Valley Elementary!

Hey, Twin Valley students -- what do you think this picture shows? Remember how I talked about how creative people are able to look with their imaginations? They can see things in a different way. Well, this might look like some picture of a city by a calm lake. But it's not. I'll tell you at the bottom of this page what it is. For now, let it be a reminder of how we learned to look at stories in new ways!

One of the ways we do that is by adding in random things. The Wheel of Fiction turned us in directions we didn't expect. And that's important. To be creative, we need to go in new directions and try things we haven't tried before. That's what makes writing fun. It's all about discovery!

Let me show you what I mean:

I had no idea what my Imagination Team would come up with. And actually, after I was given an alligator going after a tiger to get a new pair of sneakers on Mount Everest, I was still not sure what to draw. I didn't come up with much of a story, but I hope you like the drawing, at least!


Then, in the second assembly, I was given a dude with clothes on (aren't we all glad he's wearing clothes?) who wants a monkey in a school and is up against an old rock guy. I like this drawing, but I wished I had played a different song while I drew. I have a great song called "Monkey Business" I could have played. I'm making a note in my mind to remember that for the next monkey drawing. And with kids, there's always a monkey not too far away.

Creative kids at work!

Yes, I'm a creative kid at work, too. There's no reason to ever have to grow too old for the fun of stories. I hope you Elverson kids will always keep your ideas fresh. And the best way to do that is to keep putting them on paper and sharing them with others!

Ready, set... imagine!

Check out these stories:

The Cool Waiter had a great main character: a waiter who is always getting annoyed at his customers. In this story, he's in a contest to see who can be the most patient waiter, only he doesn't know he's in the contest! Fabulous idea!

In Kitchen Elf's Disaster, we thought of a chubby elf who raids refrigerators in people's homes. That's a great idea. Here, he went in to get something to impress a girl elf, but was caught! I liked how we were able to bring in the lady we drew in a doodle that we set aside for a while as we worked with another doodle.

Grandmothers can be so cool. In this story, this grandmother is actually a girl who is transformed into her grandmother by a magical bonnet. The girl goes off to improve the town's opinion of the old gal by doing a lot of kid things while transformed into her grandma.

And finally, in Scratch That, we have a mouse who has a microphone that can make him speak and understand different animal languages. An evil wizard wants to have that microphone, so he kidnaps a girl mouse to try to trap our mouse hero. But our mouse has used the microphone to tell the wizard's cat to attack!

Thanks for a day of crazy fun!

So, what are you seeing
in the night picture above?

The lights of Elverson at dusk, viewed from the parking lot of your school (see the parking lines?), and the "lake" at the bottom is the top of my car, where I put my camera so it could be be still while taking the picture. Were you close?

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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