Part of our goal in being a “Leveled Book Resource” is to bring our teachers, parents and others that want to encourage kids to read ideas that help encourage today’s youth to spend time reading.
Spring is almost here and Spring Fever might make your child want to do anything but read. Along with Spring, thoughts often turn to adventure and travel instead. You and your students or child may not be able to travel in the literal sense, but you can through books!
One of our favorite choices for helping children explore the world beyond their front door is the Flat Stanley books and project.
If you haven’t been involved in the ‘Flat Stanley Project’, now might be a good time to initiate the project, engaging and benefiting your student or child in many ways. Visit the Official Flat Stanley Project site to get started.
Flat Stanley not only brings back travel stories and photographs, but frequently brings back souvenirs! On a trip to Bakersfield, California, he brought back a tiny bale of harvested cotton from the cotton fields, crude oil from the oil fields and more. You can read about all the things he did and brought back from Bakersfield here. But, when you visit the official Flat Stanley Project site or go to www.YouTube.com and type in “Flat Stanley” for a multitude of videos (for example, this creative rap), Bakersfield might seem a little dull. Flat Stanley has been to the White House, the Academy Awards, a television show set, NASA, and Australia to name a few.
Students can blog about their Flat Stanley adventures and even add photographs to the photo gallery. In the classroom, they can plot Flat Stanley’s travels on maps and share the journals. Have them read about success stories.
To get started, you can order Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown and Stanley, Flat Again by Jeff Brown. They are appropriate for ages 6-9 years, grades 1-4 [Level L-M]. You can also purchase a Level L-M book set that includes a Stanley book. Or get all the Flat Stanley books!
Once students become familiar with Flat Stanley’s story, they make paper “Flat Stanley’s” by coloring and cutting out the template, and then keep a journal of Flat Stanley’s adventures with them for a few days. Flat Stanley and the journal are then mailed to other people who are asked to treat Flat Stanley as a guest and add to the journal, and then return them.
The Flat Stanley Project even accommodates Special Education students. This is such a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about other parts of the country or world, other cultures, events and situations they might not otherwise be able to visit themselves.
Dale Hubert, a third grade teacher from Ontario, Canada, developed this excellent program in 1995. For hints on how to integrate the project into your classroom curriculum, visit “hints” at the Official Flat Stanley Project site.
Millions of children around the world have shared Flat Stanley’s travels. Join the Flat Stanley phenomenon and support this international literacy activity. It can include visual arts, geography, oral language skill building and more. I know young adults and their parents who have the fondest memories of Flat Stanley and still get excited telling their tales…. Lily, here at LeveledReader, hopes this helps you continue to create that safe and fun learning environment while you aim to enhance literacy and other important skills.