The basic principle of The Flat Stanley Project is to connect your child, student or classroom with other children or classrooms participating in the Project by sending out "flat" visitors, created by the children, through the mail (or digitally, with The Flat Stanley app). Kids then talk about, track, and write about their flat character's journey and adventures. Although similar to a pen-pal activity, Flat Stanley is actually much more enriching-students don't have to wonder where to begin or what to write about. The sender and the recipient already have a mutual friend, Flat Stanley. Writing and learning becomes easier, flows naturally, and tends to be more creative. This is what teachers call an "authentic" literacy project, in that kids are inspired to write of their own passion and excitement about the project, and given the freedom to write about many things through the rubric of the Flat Stanley character.
Arranging an Exchange
To begin your own Flat Stanley Project, first register and log in. Next, check out our Flat Stanley List of Participants to see where you might like to send Flat Stanley; who might be sending a Flat Stanley to you; or what classroom, in what country, you would like to arrange an exchange with. (Please note, you must have registered and be logged in to view the List of Participants.) It's a good idea to contact your recipient by email at this stage, to confirm the exchange.
Once you have coordinated a recipient of your Flat Stanleys or flat characters, have your children make a Flat Stanley. This can be done any way your kids want to, but most look at pictures of other Stanleys, roughly stencil a new Stanley's shape, and color and accessorize as your kids see fit! When your Flat Stanley is ready for his journey, be sure to include the sender's name, return address, and email on back. You might want to document Stanley's starting point in your classroom or home, with a picture or a journal entry or a biography about your own flat character.
And that's when the fun really begins-off Stanley goes! Either mail him, or email him, with our Flat Stanley App, off on his or her journey. All sorts of good teaching activities can be involved at this stage: geography, with locations of Stanley's travels and destinations; math, in distances and times; narrative and writing, with journal entries and biographies, and on and on. Track Stanley's journey as he makes his way to your chosen destination. And then wait with bated breath for acknowledgement of his arrival from your exchange partner classroom or friends!
Documenting Flat Stanley's Travels
The Flat Stanley Project has lots of great ways you can share your Stanley's progress, track his or her journey, or enjoy the adventures he is having elsewhere around the globe. We have a Facebook page which sometimes has cool content from our partners, such as the Flat Grannies on Safari. And of course you can see a whole newsfeed of Stanley activities and images with The Flat Stanley App. We encourage you to use any of these outlets for you and your students to publish stories, describe local traditions and scenery, talk about Stanley's adventures, and post pictures. Our wonderful Picture Gallery is a great place to get students excited about the potential of the Flat Stanley Project. For more information, please visit our FAQ section or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.