Friday, August 21, 2009

Flat Stanley

I was introduced to Flat Stanley by a second grade teacher in the 1970’s. The 1964 story was imaginative and a great introduction to early chapter books. Along with the Littles, Flat Stanley was what got me hooked on the fantasy genre at an early age. The story was engaging and later got me interested in reading longer books like Stuart Little that had the same quality of adventure and strange unbelievable circumstances that some how seemed acceptable within the bindings of the book.

Since 1995 Dale Hubert has been running the Official Flat Stanley Project to promote literacy, interaction, and geography among children. There is his official site and hundreds of blogs and websites that work to promote the idea of children sharing some version of a Flat Stanley character with family and friends and receiving pictures and written details of their character’s travels. Stanley has traveled far and wide visiting with celebrities, Presidents, and even making a trip in the Shuttle.

This is a great project for schools, home schoolers and parents to consider trying with their own children. It is simple to start and a great way to open communication with relatives and friends that might not have an easy time starting a conversation with your child. The Flat Stanley project is relatively simple. The flat character is mailed to the recipient who has agreed to take pictures and document the journey. A virtual flat doll can be sent and documented as well. This is a great way for children and those who they are distant from to communicate. While someone may not normally talk to a child about their garden or normal daily activities a doll can open up communication and children do seem to be more interested in Gram’s garden when Stanley or Jane is there. (Children can name the doll what ever they wish.) It is also a way to introduce the child to an area they may not get to visit often. Local areas which we are used to seeing all the time can be interesting for kids to see pictures of especially when attached to a doll’s adventure.

I found some unique patterns for the doll to choose from and you are encouraged to make your own. Dale Hubert is even moving to travel bears and I’ve included that link here. Consider a small toy that has a connection with the child and the adults that will be communicating and that can become their connection for writing to each other. A beanie dog is welcome more places than a real dog and its regular adventures can become a means of regular communication between adult and child. Just a note about communication, adults need encouragement to continue the process. If your child is not responding to the activity it can be hard to get the other party to continue. It does not require a huge response. You can write what your child dictates, have your child draw pictures, and ask questions. However, it is hard to continue with no response at all. Read More

Flat Stanley Information

Flat Stanley Curriculum

The Official Flat Stanley Project

Boston Globe Article "Where in the World is Flat Stanley?"

Yahoo Flat Stanley Groups

Flat Travelers Homeschool

Flat Travelers

Flat Stanley Materials

Create a Journal

Flat Stanley CD Travel Case

Flat Stanley Journal

Flat Stanley Journal Part 1 Flat Stanley Journal Part 2

Flat Stanley Story Paper

Flat Stanley Story Paper

Flat Stanley Templates

Flat Stanley Template

Flat Stanley Double Sided Template

Flat Stanley Template Official

Making Friends Templates

Travel Teddy

Flat Stanley Suggestions For Organization

Bella Online Article

Flat Stanley Sample Letter

Flat Stanley Sample Letter for Participants

Other Flat Stanley Activities

Flat Stanley Activities from abcteach

Flat Stanley Quiz

Picture credit konaboys

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