Makes Me Wish I Were a Kid or a Teacher

If you have a child in school or know of one, you will appreciate the fun of The Flat Stanley Project. It’s awesome. In the author’s words:

More than thirty years ago, I was saying goodnight to my now grown-up sons, J.C. and Tony (Flat Stanley is dedicated to them), and JC stalling for my chat time, asked me not to leave the bedroom. He was scared, he claimed, and when I asked him what he was afraid of he couldn’t think of anything. As I started out again, he had an inspiration. ‘I’m afraid my big bulletin board will fall on me,’ he said. I told him that that was ridiculous; the big board on the wall above his bed had been securely mounted by me, and even if it got loose it would do so so slowly that he wouldn’t even notice it, just go off to sleep, and by the time it rested fully upon him he’d be sound asleep and wouldn’t wake, so the board would just lie there all night. Then I thought of small joke and said: ‘Of course, when you wake up in the morning, you’ll probably be flat.’ Both boys thought that was a hoot and many evenings after that one, we’d make up stories about adventures you could have if you were flat. Best idea I ever had, and I didn’t even know I’d had it. Not for many months, until a friend in the kid-book business, who knew about the flat stories, suggested I make them into a book.

According to the project website, “The Flat Stanley Project is a group of teachers who want to provide students with another reason to write. Students’ written work goes to other places by conventional mail and e-mail. Students make paper Flat Stanleys and begin a journal with him for a few days. Then Flat Stanley and the journal are sent to another school where students there treat Flat Stanley as a guest and complete the journal. Flat Stanley and the journal are then returned to the original sender. Students can plot his travels on maps and share the contents of the journal. Often, a Flat Stanley returns with a pin or postcard from his visit. Some teachers prefer to use e-mail only, and this is noted in the List of Participants.”

My knitting and blogging acquaintance Lain needs people willing to host Flat Stanley for her son’s project. If you’re willing, contact her via email (which is listed on her blog).

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One Comment on “Makes Me Wish I Were a Kid or a Teacher”

  1. cicada Says:

    The Boy’s class did the Flat Stanley project in second grade. It was the most amazing experience, both for the kids and for the people who wrote to them. We learned amazing things about the Boy’s grandparents, and about their lives in places like Greece, the Philippines, and Germany. For a kid growing up without a lot of family nearby, it provided a marvelous sense of community and connectedness. I’m so glad you wrote about it here!