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Action Week 2002
Flat Stanley
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The Flat Stanley project

Flat Stanley is a little boy with a positive attitude; a bulletin board fell on him and he was smashed. He wanted to visit a friend of his in California, so he made the best of a bad situation and folded himself up and mailed himself there.

Flat Stanley ( Jeff Brown, Harper Trophy, 1964)

It all began in April 1998, on a cruise ship in the Caribbean when I had dinner with Flat Stanley. Actually, the truth is that I dined with Flat Stanley, a teacher from Michigan and her family. From such humble (!) beginnings cam a topic that was to grow beyond my wildest dreams.

I returned to school for the Summer Term and read the story to my class. All of the children made their own Flat Stanley and sent him and a letter to relatives and friends all around the world.

Within weeks registration time was a period of immense excitement. Not only had my Year 3 class got pen pals in a school in Michigan, but we were also receiving replies to their letters. Day after day, e-mails, photographs, souvenirs and guidebooks arrived on my desk. What adventures Flat Stanley had! He visited Australia, America. Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia and many different local regions.

In April 2000, following the success of my previous Flat Stanley and having moved t a different school, I decided to repeat the topic. Flat Stanley accompanied me on my latest Caribbean holiday and appeared on many of my holiday pictures! Whilst taking the photographs I had to reassure the perplexed locals that Its alright, Im a teacher! My Year 2 class were enthralled as we read letters from Flat Stanley. This time his travels included visits to Eccleshall, Australia, America, St. John and Holland. The visit to Holland was extremely exciting as it coincided with Euro 2000! We have visited the Flat Stanley website* and have seen pictures of him with Bill Clinton. Using the Internet we have been able to read about the Flat Stanley projects that have been developed in other schools around the world.

The benefits of such activities to my class were numerous. Not only did the children gain a greater knowledge of the UK, but also they were able to appreciate life in different countries and gained a greater knowledge of the world. Inevitably they are reading and writing for a real purpose, real audience for a real outcome. My Year 2 class has really enjoyed working out how Flat Stanley might have got to his final destination.

As a primary school teacher I would thoroughly recommend the use of literature to aid geographical learning. I was able to plan so much work involving Geography, Literacy and ICT. The children were able to write many stories about Flat Stanley, particularly as he was lost in suitcase at one stage! My Year 2 class has become familiar with the idea of travel around the world and are now able to use a map confidently to locate countries. This topic has produced work of which the children and I are justifiably proud. It has been an experience that none of us will ever forget.

Emma Sheridan, Springfields First School, Yarnfield, Stone.

Flat Stanley Website www.flatstanleyproject.com 

Below are examples of letters which Flat Stanley and his friends have sent from their travels!

Dear Richard,

I am writing to tell you of some of the things Flat Stanley has been up to on his visit with me. Flat Stanley has stayed with me on the farm in a village called Hilderstone, 8 miles from Stone and Uttoxeter, it is an historic village as it was mentioned in the Doomsday book. The village used to have a shop, post office and school until recently, but with the dwindling number of young people in the village, everything but the church and pub have closed. 

Flat Stanley has enjoyed helping me out on the farm, feeding, watering and cleaning out the animals. He has even taken pictures of some of the animals. Flat Stanley has helped us on the tractor and cut some long grass to make into bales of hay to feed the animals with.

During his stay with me we have been able to go to Ireland for a holiday. We took a ferry from Fishguard in South Wales, for a 31 hour journey across to Rosslare. While we were in Ireland we visited Waterford where there is a factory which makes famous Waterford crystal. Flat Stanley saw how the crystal glass is made. We also visited a castle at Blarney where Flat Stanley took a photo from the castle down over other parts below and also a picture of me kissing the famous Blarney Stone. We visited many wonderful charming villages on the Ring of Kerry. Charlie Chaplin used to stay in one village, Cahersiveen. The areas we visited were very tranquil and picturesque and the people very friendly. 

G'Day Chris
I arrived in Australia on a cold, cloudy Monday afternoon in June, after a very very long flight from England. I was very tired and stiff, envelopes these days are very cramped! I was surprised to find that it was the middle of Winter here in Melbourne. The Olympic Games are happening in Sydney in September and everyone is very excited. I went to the zoo and swa all the animals that are native to Australia, koala bears, kangaroos, emus and wombats. I managed to hop inside the pouch of a kangaroo and snuggled down with Joey, a baby kangaroo. I also climbed a gum tree and shared some leaves with two koala bears. I have enjoyed my visit to Australia and it would be great if you could come over one day and see it for yourself.

Love from
Stanley (Flat)

Dear Aaron,
We took Flat Stanley on holiday to California and Canada. He has been on 6 aeroplanes, 2 ferry boats, 3 lake cruises, many high towers and ski lifts. While we were in California we visited beaches, cities, deserts and the Yosemite National Park. Canada is joined to America but it is such a vast country we had to fly to it. When we got to the Rocky Mountains in Canada we could not believe how different Canada is from America. California is warm and sunny and Canada has snow covered mountains, deep blue lakes and is sunny and has clear air. We have seen wild black bears, brown grizzly bears, moose, elk, chipmunks and many beautiful birds and butterflies. We have brought back many souvenirs and photographs with us. We hope you will find them interesting.

Lots of Love from
Granny and Grandpa

Pittsburgh, USA

Dear Elliot,
Thank you for giving Flat Stanley to me. He was very tired when he got here because he had to go in an aeroplane. We went on a school bus and we found him a girlfriends called Flat Sally who I am sending over to you. We went on a trail in the woods and we went to this very old house. On July 4th, which is America's Independence Day we had fireworks and I waved a flag.

From
Isobel

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to kate.russell@staffordshire.gov.uk
Copyright 2007 [QLS Staffordshire County Council]

This page last updated 05 April 2006