Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flat Stanley Makes the Grade

Now that the school year is over (*sniff*), it's time to reflect on my favorite school project my daughter and I worked on: Flat Stanley.  I was unfamiliar with FS until she came home with the assignment.  But I immediately thought, "What a great idea for a project!"...mailing him out to a far-away recipient who is willing to write my daughter back with the adventures and activities they'd had with FS.

I was surprised to learn that Flat Stanley was first conceived as a children's book in 1964.  It wasn't until 1995 that the Flat Stanley project was launched by a Canadian schoolteacher.  It was meant to facilitate letter-writing by students to each other by documenting where FS has gone with them.

My daughter's first grade reading teacher sent home a request for the name and address of anyone (child or adult) who could participate. Realizing that my world of far-flung contacts has shrunk dramatically since I stopped working, I put out a plea on Facebook asking for volunteers.  I was surprised by those who responded; ultimately we sent FS to three people.

While one FS volunteer was foiled by technical obstacles, we got two solid, entertaining FS adventures back, complete with emailed pictures.  Thank you to my two cousins, Elizabeth, who wrote a funny and educational tale of life on a farm in Lowell, Wisconsin; and to Gail (Elizabeth's mom), who sent the story of their road trip to South Carolina -- complete with beaches, jellyfish and a visit to Bubba Gump's seafood restaurant.

I actually think this is a great project for parents to undertake with their kids (maybe a summer diversion?).  Check out the Flat Stanley literacy project at www.flatstanley.com.  There, I learned, there is even an iTunes app that sends the character digitally around the globe.


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4 comments:

  1. I love Flat Stanley! We had one go to Hawaii, and another to Washington D.C. It was so cool to get the pictures back. It is a great program, and I'm so glad our school has participated.

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  2. Flat Stanley has made a few visits to me over the years. It's a great idea, happy you discovered him too Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop today xo

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  3. These are so sweet! I'll follow your link, too! Looks like fun!

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