Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Last month Avlyn and I embarked on a geography project using an idea from the book Flat Stanley. If you're not familiar with the book, it's a story of boy named Stanley who ends up getting flattened by a bulletin board while he's sleeping. He's able to do all sorts of fun things like become a kite and fly and go down into a sewer to help his mom locate her lost ring. One thing he's also able to do is be put into an envelope and mailed to a friend. This is the basis for the Flat Stanley Project. There are ideas floating all over the Internet about how different people and schools do this project. The official website is The Official Flat Stanley Project. This site has teaching ideas and templates for the Flat Stanley character.
Here's what we're doing (after reading the book):
1. We invited another homeschooling family to join us, and the kids got together one day to create their Flat Stanley's. In our project we are calling them by the kids' names, so it's a Flat Avlyn and a Flat Alexander.
2. While the official website has templates, I downloaded and printed out a blank template from First Palette. This template is plain, no clothes or features, so the kids could get really creative. Here's an example of my Flat Rhyah that I made to give the kids an idea of what they were supposed to do.
3. We got out a copy of a U.S. map and showed the kids where we lived and then showed them how far they would travel to their first destination. We sent Avlyn to Florida, and I believe Alexander was headed to California. We then decided on the number of people we wanted it sent to. We decided that 7 was a good number, and would probably get us the flat kids back within a couple of months.
4. I created a packet of information to be shipped along with Flat Avlyn to each destination. It included an intro letter, an information sheet, and a sign-out sheet. The intro letter basically describes the project and what each person is supposed to do. I asked that they keep her no more than 4 days and then mail her on to a person of their choice. I included an email address for people to email us pictures of things they do with Flat Avlyn while she's visiting.
The information sheets are numbered 1-7 and have a few questions people can answer if they want. I asked them to put where Flat Avlyn is, state and city, what's special about where she's visiting, and what she did while she was there. The end of the packet has a sign in sheet for each person to sign their name. The information sheets are numbered so we'll know which person goes with which information sheet.
5. We mailed them off.
6. Sit and wait. Now it's just up to other people to help us out. One of her grandmothers was the first destination, and she's been giving me updates. So far Flat Avlyn has been to the beach, the library, the grocery store, and yesterday she visited a fire station and took a picture with all of the firemen.
As you can see, this project can be extremely fun if the chosen participants are eager to help you out. Between the two kids, they should go 14 places. If you're working with a large group or have a large family you could choose just one recipient for each person, but since we're small we needed to increase the number of recipients. We're excited to see where our flat children will go and what they'll do. This project will also integrate a lesson about the mail system and how mail is delivered around the world. I'll post an update whenever we get them both back. Happy homeschooling!