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Around the World With Flat Stanley

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					Around the World With Flat Stanley

Brandy Chandler

Are you looking for a creative way for your children to build writing and
communication skills as they learn about the world around them? Then look
no further than the Flat Stanley project! This project is based on the book
titled Flat Stanley, written by Jeff Brown. The project itself was created in
1994 by Dale Hubert.

In the Flat Stanley books, Stanley is flattened by a bulletin board and sets off
on new adventures as “Flat Stanley.” He is able to slide under doors because
he’s mailed all over the country in an envelope!1 A Flat Stanley project can be
customized to fit the needs of each homeschool.

1. Read the Flat Stanley book.
The book is a wonderful way for children to learn more about Flat Stanley. It
explains how Stanley became flat and how he used that situation to help
others. It is a wonderful story that the children will enjoy.

2. Create a Flat Stanley.
There are a number of creative “Stanleys” that you can print from
www.flatstanley.com in either color or black and white. The children can
color the templates to customize them.

3. Prepare an informational handout.
If you plan to send Stanley to others, it is helpful to complete an
informational sheet, a form that you create which provides a brief overview of
the project and details about Stanley. Have your child answer the questions
to share with others. For example, you might tell a little about the area that
you live in, the climate, recreational activities, etc. You also may have the
child journal some of “Stanley’s” likes and dislikes, etc. This is where the
project can really be personalized to meet your homeschool’s goals.

4. Create a travel journal to send with Stanley.
A travel journal will help the student learn more about the region where
Stanley is being sent. This form can include the date, information about the
weather, and an overview of Stanley’s adventure. If there are specific things
that the student wants to learn about the region, he can include questions
about those things in the journal form. The form may also include questions
about nearby landmarks or points of interests.

5. Contact a potential pen pal, make arrangements for the Flat
Stanley exchange, and begin correspondence.
There are a number of ways that to begin the pen pal exchange:
• Register on the Flat Stanley website.

Many participants enjoy signing up with www.flatstanley.com to register
their projects and share them with others who are working on similar
projects. I recommend that copies of Stanley be made any time you plan to
submit him to another person, because he may get lost.

If you register within the official program, you can select the area you want to
send him to, based on which geographical region you want your child to
study. If the students are studying a foreign country or language, setting up a
Stanley pen pal with someone in that country would provide an opportunity to
learn more from someone who actually lives there.

• Contact a homeschool group in another region.

As a family or as a homeschool group, you may want to contact
homeschoolers across the country (through various homeschool groups or
organizations) to participate in the pen pal exchange. The Old
Schoolhouse® Magazine Facebook page would be a great way to locate
another homeschool family who would be interested in participating in the
project.

• Recruit distant family members and friends as pen pals.

Some families are blessed to have family members and friends who live all
over the world. Willing relatives and friends can document life in their area by
hosting Flat Stanley for a visit. We had the opportunity to learn more about
Philadelphia through a family member who had moved to that area. As she
traveled the area, she took pictures of Stanley at various national landmarks
and sent pictures back to us.

Another family visited Mexico and documented Stanley’s adventures as he
sailed to that country. In both instances, the families kept Stanley to join
them on future adventures, but they mailed back postcards from those
regions as they traveled. This was a unique addition to the program, and we
loved it.

• Take Stanley with you as you travel.

As you travel, take Stanley along. You can take his picture at the various sites
and prepare journal articles or reports based on your adventures. Having
students document their observations through the eyes of Stanley is a fun
way to get them to study things around them.

As your children record their observations, they can build a portfolio of Flat
Stanley adventures. On a recent trip to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in
Huntsville, Alabama, we took Stanley along. While learning about space and
aviation, we took Stanley’s picture and documented the trip. Then, we made
journal entries about what we learned.

The benefits of the Flat Stanley project are vast. The student learns about the
world around him through the Stanley’s travels. The student also builds
writing skills as he journals what he learns, documents the adventures, and
corresponds with others.

The Flat Stanley project is one of those fun family projects that you can
customize to fit your student’s learning needs. Using the basics of the story
and the Stanley template, you can explore the world around you through your
own creativity. Flatstanley.com has some ideas to get you started if you do
not have family or friends to whom you could mail him or do not travel. Have
fun!

Endnote:
. www.flatstanley.com, accessed January 3, 2012.

Sidebar

Create a Flat Stanley Scrapbook

A scrapbook or portfolio provides a unique way to document the adventures
of Flat Stanley and to showcase what your student learned. Throughout the
duration of the project, the student will collect a number of artifacts that can
easily be showcased in the scrapbook. The scrapbook might include these
components:

• Overview—Basic information and objectives for the project

• Informational Handout—A copy of the letter that the student sent out to
hosts

• Questionnaire—Interview your child to find out about Flat Stanley’s likes,
dislikes, favorite adventure, favorite food, etc.

•Journal Entries—As Stanley travels around the world, students should make
journal entries as they learn more about each region. Date, location, weather,
and a summary of Stanley’s trip would be appropriate entries. The travel
journal can be completed by the family who is hosting Stanley or by the
student as he travels.

• Map—A map that highlights places visited. Students can use stickers to
mark where Stanley has visited and label the city or state.
Supplemental Documents

1. Brochures. Ask participants to mail to your child brochures about places
that Stanley visited while they hosted him. These brochures will provide
additional facts so that the student can learn more about the landmarks and
culture of each region.

2. Postcards. Have family and friends mail postcards during Stanley’s visits,
either from the host or from Stanley to the child. Most children would enjoy
receiving a simple note about Stanley’s recent adventure, especially younger
children who don’t ordinarily receive mail.

3. Stamps. Collect the stamps off of the return packages. You might make a
“Passport Page” on which to display the stamps and list the dates of Stanley’s
journey.

Brandy Chandler lives with her husband and two children in beautiful rural
Tennessee. Brandy feels blessed to have the privilege to homeschool her
children and loves coming up with creative ways to teach new concepts and
life skills. In addition to homeschooling, Brandy enjoys blogging, writing, and
jogging.
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author.
Originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse®
Magazine, family education magazine. Read the magazine free at
www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at
www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

				
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Description: “Are you looking for a creative way for your children to build writing and communication skills as they learn about the world around them? Then look no further than the Flat Stanley project!”