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.
Jeff Brown created the beloved character of Flat Stanley as a bedtime story for his sons. He has written other adventurous books about the Lambchop family, including Flat Stanley, Stanley and the Magic Lamp, Invisible Stanley, Stanley's Christmas Adventure, Stanley in Space, and Stanley, Flat Again!
In 1994, Dale Hubert began the Flat Stanley Project in Ontario, Canada. Hubert had the brilliant idea of having children create their own Flat Stanley paper cutouts and mailing them to friends and family around the globe, in order to foster authentic literacy activities for kids and get them excited to write about Stanley's adventures. Hubert invited other teachers to take part by "hosting" Flat Stanley visitors in their classrooms as they arrived in the mail, and encouraging students to keep their own Flat Stanley journals.