Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flat Stanley Project

Flat Stanley Project- the international literacy and community building activity for students of all ages, teachers and family.

About the Flat Stanley Project
In 1995, Dale Hubert, a Grade 3 teacher in London, Ontario, Canada, began the Flat Stanley Project. He invited other teachers to take part by hosting flat visitors and to encourage their students to write their own Flat Stanley journals. Jeff Brown, the author of the
Flat Stanley book, was delighted with the Flat Stanley Project as it renewed interest in the book which resulted in a sequel almost 40 years after the original. Jeff Brown stayed with Dale when he visited Wilfrid Jury Public School in London, Ontario as a guest author and hosted Dale and his family for a wonderful two week holiday in Connecticut. Dale and Jeff remained good friends until Jeff's death in 2003.

How It Works
One of the many advantages of sending flat visitors is that they can visit friends by travelling in an envelope. Students' written work goes to other places by conventional mail and e-mail. While it is similar to a penpal activity, it is actually much more. In a standard penpal exchange, students rarely know how to begin or what to write about, but, with a Flat Stanley or one of our other flat characters from the Template Gallery, it's as if the sender and the recipient have a mutual friend, and writing becomes easier and more creative.

This isn’t a project my household directly participated in but I loved the activity and felt compelled to share it with others that might not have heard of the famous Flat Stanley! A few weeks ago my mom received an envelope in the mail from my niece’s school; upon opening, she discovered a “little boy” that would be her traveling companion for the next month. My mom colored Stanley and took him EVERYWHERE she went (bike riding, vacation, out to dinner, feeding squirrels, to work…) taking pictures of him along the way; when she dropped Stanley off at my niece’s school last week she had the pleasure of talking with the teacher; in my niece’s class, Flat Stanley had visited Hawaii, Austria, Iraq and Russia.

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