with Bruce Van Patter 2009-2010 School Visits

My visit to Washington Avenue!

Ideas were really flying today! Check out these stories.

The assembly drawings

The four ingredients: a tiger in a castle looking for a cat up against a cheetah

The story: Wow -- an all cat story!

A tiger finds a stray cat and makes it his pet. But one day the cat goes off and doesn't come back. So the tiger tracks it down at a castle where there is a mean cheetah king.

Why did the cat go there? Because when it was all alone, it made friends with mice who helped the cat escape from the castle. The cat is going back to rescue his mice friends.

So the tiger decides to help. But he's got to make a bridge for the mice in the Well of the Mice to escape. Oh no! The mean cheetah king is tickling his hands! That's cheating! Or is it cheetahing?


The four ingredients: a deer on the Great Wall of China looking for a bucket of slime up against a chihuahua

The story: A deer is a chef in China. He has invented a new soup: slime soup. But the smell of it has caused a fearsome dog to chase after him. The chef has tried to run and run, but now, he's stuck at the top of a part of the Great Wall of China. And the only thing he can do to get the dog to leave him alone is to pour out his soup!

But now, maybe there's a new tourist attraction in China -- wall sliding!

The workshop stories

A woman has found a magic ball that can tell the future. It actually has smoke that comes out and forms a picture. One day an evil guy came out of the ball and escaped! She's been trying to catch him and get him to go back in.

She finally finds him on an island in a park lake. She rows out to the island and has to show him a future so scary that he'll want to go back in the ball.

What does she show him? The kids in the workshop had a few ideas, but I thought the scariest thing would be to make him think he eventually would marry the girl!

I think that will do the trick.


This story is all about a pig on a farm who has learned how to talk to dogs. That's not a skill you'd think was an important one, but in this story, it's very important!

One night the pig sees a flash in the sky. Not long after that, he hears noises in the basement.

When he investigates, he finds that a race of dog-like aliens have landed and are using his basement as their base. (Maybe that's why it's called a base-ment!) He runs outside in fear. Then he tricks them into the barn by making it look like their doghouse spaceship and calling them in their own dog-language. Some pig!


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New on my site!

I love random connections! Here's a page that will create random What If Questions to help you start stories!



What a fun day! I loved all the story ideas you kids had. I told you that you were creative, and I was right!

Now that you understand the four basic ingredients to a story, get your own stories down on paper. And don't forget to share them with someone because half the fun of writing is having others read and enjoy your stories!

And don't forget to check out some of the fun stuff I have 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