Bringing Flat Stanley into 2009Have you heard of Flat Stanley? It was at least eight years ago when I first heard of the Flat Stanley Project. It was probably the first project I ever tried online. In case you haven't heard of it....Flat Stanley is actually a book written by Jeff Brown. In the story, Stanley is flattened by a bulletin board and his family tries to make the best of it by pointing out the advantages to being flat - such as traveling wherever he would like to go in an envelope! The project begins by reading the book aloud to your class, then allowing each student to make their own flat "Stanley" to virtually travel.
When I last participated in this project (around 2001), my second graders eagerly mailed off their Stanleys around the world and waited with anticipation for a return package. We enjoyed receiving the letters and goodies that came back to us and the whole class benefitted from what each "Stanley" learned on his trip.
Recently, my twitter friend Chris Harbeck, asked me to participate in a Flat Stanley project with his children. You see, Chris has twin 7 year old boys and he knew I had twin 5 year olds (boy and a girl). I readily agreed, and soon his envelope of traveling visitors arrived from their long trip from Winnepeg, Canada to my home in Jacksonville, FL.
While the Stanley twins were here with us, we took them around the area and captured as much as we could in photos. In the past, I would have carefully written down all we did in a letter to mail off with copies of the photos. Instead, I uploaded the photos into a voicethread where I could record my twins telling about all they did with their flat visitors. The exciting part about using a voicethread was that the Harbeck twins could then comment back to us about what we said and ask further questions. I think it brought the virtual trip to life. Listen and see what you think:
We still put together a care package to snail mail back to Canada. We wanted the class in Winnepeg to be able to see brochures from sights in the area, have a few shells from our beach and be able to taste the salt water taffy they make so plentifully here. And...the Stanleys needed a way to travel back to their owners!
We had fun bringing the Flat Stanley experience into 2009! Consider participating in this project yourself and make the most of it for your students.