What we do for the kids in our lives! This is one of mine…. my nephew Jake… cute kid huh? And he’s holding one of those paper dolls — a Flat Stanley — that so many kids color as part of their classwork in elementary school. And like all those moms, dads, aunts, uncles and good friends who came before (including me many times since I travel so often), I want to help Jake get the most out of the project!
It seems like at least half of the folks I know have heard of “Flat Stanley” but since not everyone knows who he is or what this entails, let me give a quick overview.
Flat Stanley is a book & classroom project that encourages children to learn more about the world around them. Through no fault of his own, Stanley becomes flat and one of the great benefits of the mishap is he can travel in an envelope and see great things. Kids in the class usually get to color their own Flat Stanley — Jake’s given his red hair like his mom & I have and the colorful combination of clothes he knows so well — green, yellow and orange!!!
There are a number of ways this can be done — Flat Stanley can travel with the kids or as is the case with Jake’s class, Flat Stanley can travel to various places and bring back stories for Jake to learn more about where all he’s been. We already have a couple of family members who are traveling and taking Flat Stanley along on a trip, but I thought the power of social media and digital communications would allow Stanley to travel a very long way in a very short time!
- Please print Jake’s Flat Stanley PDF (or you can use the PowerPoint version Jake’s Flat Stanley)Be sure you do full size and in color. (It should take up the majority of a 8.5 by 11 piece of paper.).
- Trim it like you would a paperdoll.
- Take a digital photo (or several if you have a few minutes) of Stanley seeing something in your area — the objective is for my nephew’s class to learn about different areas so get creative! If you are in New York City it could be rowing on the lake in Central Park or standing in the midst of Time Square. If you are on a farm, it could be something that sets your area apart, he could help feed livestock, shovel snow, go to the corn palace, go to your local school, etc.
- Write Jake an email (send it to email@example.com) telling him about some of the adventures you & Stanley had during your visit. Some of the things its good to include are: climate, geography, tourist type info, and generally any other info that would interest second graders if they were able to visit you. One thing to note, he’s in Ms. Rorie’s class so feel free to mention that.
- Send the email (letter and photos). We will package the letters, photos, etc up for Flat Stanley and Jake to take back and share with the class and your story will join the Flat Stanley effort here on the blog! 🙂
I have no idea how many people may be willing to participate, but with friends and family scattered about…. well, this could be really an educational experience for the class!