A couple of years ago, we received a letter in the mail from my nephew. Inside was a paper doll – a boy who looked like the illustration in the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. My nephew had colored the paper doll and sent a letter telling us about his Flat Stanley.
In the story, Stanley is flattened as thin as a piece of paper and mailed to California instead of traveling in a plane. From this came the Flat Stanley Project started by third grade teacher Dale Hubert.
Students can print pictures of Flat Stanley from the template on FlatStanleyProject.com, or they can draw their own. Then they send them to students in different cities or states, asking the receiving class to report back on all that Flat Stanley saw or did there. They might report on the climate of the area or special sites and events in their town.
Although the Flat Stanley Project was originally intended as a classroom activity, the idea has been adapted by homeschoolers and individual families as well. They can send their Flat Stanleys to friends and relatives all around the city, the country, or even the world.
When we received Stanley from my nephew, we decided to take him around with us to “experience” the same things we did. We took him on errands and to a birthday party. We even took him to a special Saturday program where we met a policeman who let us take a photo of Stanley sitting in his car. We sent him home again after a while with photos, some postcards, and a map of our state marking where we lived.
Although there is the official Flat Stanley Project site, you can use your imagination and make it your own. Your Stanley could look like anyone – you could make a Flat Jenny or Flat Thomas if you wanted to. You can send out questionnaires with your Stanley. You can print maps to mark everywhere your Stanleys are going. You could make a scrapbook with all of the Stanleys that return and any extras they come back with.
No matter how you do it, the kids have a great time sending and receiving mail and they’ll learn a lot in the process.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Screenshot from turtlemom4bacon