The Flat Stanley Project
Fostering Literacy Around the World Since 1995
What Is the Phenomenon of the Flat Stanley Project?
Flat Stanley was originally a book by Jeff Brown.
Flat Stanley was not always flat. Once upon a time Flat Stanley was a regular boy named Stanley Lambchop. His father gives him a large bulletin board to display posters and pictures. Unfortunately one day when Stanley was sleeping the board fell on him and flattened him. From then on out, he was known as Flat Stanley. Luckily for Flat Stanley he was able to still live an adventurous life being flat. Because of his “condition” he is now able to travel via stamp and envelope. The Flat Stanley Project was created by Dale Hubert, a teacher, in 1995. The project was a hit and now many students read Flat Stanley and mail him to someone. After they mail him away, a journal is kept to record Flat Stanley’s adventures. The journal can be recorded as Flat Stanley writing or the person he is visiting. Flat Stanley is one of the longest-lasting literacy project on the web.
You can learn more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Stanley
What are the Variations of the Flat Stanley Project?
There are many different ways to incorporate the Flat Stanley project into the classroom.
Math: When you receive Flat Stanley’s from other schools the children can measure the size of the Flat Stanley’s and record the sizes to see how every Flat Stanley varies in size.
Science: Growing a flat garden! Take a plastic bag and fill half way with soil and plant the seed. After plant starts growing, carefully examine the bag to find the roots. Each child could plant a different seed and see the difference in each of the roots.
Social Studies: Figure out where the Flat Stanley’s that the classroom received came from. Then as a class figure out where that is on a map compared to where you are.
And many, many more! Check out http://flatstanleyproject.com/curriculum.html for more great ideas.
What are the benefits of the Flat Stanley Project?
1) It is a real and authentic experience for students to develop their language arts and communication skills.
2) It is simple and easy to participate in.
3) It provides a basic topic and framework for constructing your letters to help students get started.
4) It can be integrated into other cross-curricular subjects and topics like social studies and geography.
5) It gives students an opportunity to learn about different people, different cultures, and different parts of the world.
6) It helps students gain the skills and experience of writing traditional letters, journals, or postcards to other people.
7) It can be a segue into other creative writing opportunities.
8) It is fun and exciting for students to participate in and gives them a meaningful purpose for writing!
Where has flat stanley been?
All over the world!!!
Who has flat stanly met?
And of course...Children across the globe!
What do we think about the Flat Stanley Project as a Person?
Flat Stanley is a creative way to get children thinking about the adventures they could have if they were flat like Stanley Lambchop. They could fit under locked doors, be used as a kite, get mailed in a mailbox to their friends.
The Flat Stanley Project helps children learn about different areas of the world because of the places that Stanley Lambchop goes.
What do we think about the flat stanley project as a teacher?
There are numerous ways a teacher can take the book Flat Stanley and teach it to their classroom. They can make fun and adventurous projects from this concept by asking students to use their imagination and think of things they might want to do if they were as flat as Stanley Lambchop.
The Flat Stanley Project is a great way for teachers to encourage their students to get creative with their letter-writing skills. It helps to get students connected with students in a different area of the world. The project builds communication skills because students are asked to share their work. All around, the Flat Stanley Project focuses on literacy and when teachers are participating in the program, they are giving their students an experience that is fun and exciting, but at the same time teaching them life-long literacy skills.
What Language Arts standards does the project address?
Common Core (3rd Grade)
CC.1.4.3.A Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CC.1.4.3.O Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
CC.1.4.3.T With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
CC.1.4.9-10.B Write with a sharp distinct focus identifying topic, task, and audience.
CC.1.4.9-10.F Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and spelling.
ELP.2.W.1-3.3 Write a journal entry about a family event using a picture dictionary or word wall.
ELP.2.W.1-3.5 Write a letter to a friend describing a family vacation using a guided model.
ELP.4.R.1-3.4Interpret information associated with natural resources, technologies or tools using graphs and charts.
ELP.5.S.1-3.3 Give directions from one place to another using a map.
How does the project relate to what we are beginning to understand about the course?
Through this course so far we have looked at our personal writing experiences, integration of language arts, diverse learners, and theories into our classroom practice. This particular assignment Flat Stanley is one in which all the topics we have covered so far in class have correlated. As a class, we have realized how essential and easy integrating our subjects for instruction can be. This is evident in the Flat Stanley project, as language arts and geography are integrated for this particular course assignment. The students not only read the story of Flat Stanley, but they learn essential skills such as writing/ mailing letters and geography by mapping out the trips Stanley encounters. This assignment is also great for diverse learners at the Flat Stanley Project has adaptations prepared and ready for these students so all can be involved. This allows us to understand our course content by allowing us not only to learn the material, but to also put our new found knowledge into practice. We have, as a group, found out how easy inclusive and integrative curriculum is to implement.
What might you include in a written journal or postcard?
Here's What our own Flat Stanley did this week with us
Precautions to consider if you are going to undertake this project with your class
- The idea of Flat Stanley requires students to send a “Flat Stanley” to relatives or someone in a distant location. However, some students may not have people to send a “Flat Stanley” to. Certain students, may it be that they are foster students or that they do not have relatives beyond their current town may have difficulty participating.
- The story of Flat Stanley may be slightly disturbing to students. In the story, the character Stanley is flattened by a bulletin board. Certain students may become scared of being flattened because of this. Flat Stanley is then pumped back up by an air pump when he is tired of being flat.
- Family members may not be able to keep to the schedule set forward by the teacher. This could potentially allow the student to be marked down for something that was not the fault of the student.
- Students are able to post pictures to flatstanley.com, which some students post their first and last names and the town that they are from. This allows for privacy issues.
Check it out for yourself!
Explain what the phenomenon is
What are the variations of the project?
What are the benefits of this project?
What do you think about it just as a person? As a teacher?
What are the language arts standards it covers?
How do you relate it to what you are beginning to understand about the course content?
Do you have any cautions for the class, if any were to undertake something like this? What might need to be considered?
Flat Stanley Photos and Journal Created by:
Smore Presentation and My Story Book Journal Created by:
*Pictures from http://flatstanleyproject.com/
*Map Photo from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/194217802655549429/