The Flat Stanley Project
In the beginning of the school year, the second grade class read the story of Flat Stanley as a read aloud. The book recounts the adventures of Stanley Lambchop after surviving being crushed while sleeping by a falling bulletin board. He survives and makes the best of his altered state, and soon he is entering locked rooms by sliding under the door, being rolled up to go out to the park and playing with his younger brother by being used as a kite. One special advantage is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends in California by being mailed in an envelope. Stanley even helps catch some art museum thieves by posing as a painting on the wall. Eventually, Stanley wearies of flatness and Arthur restores his proper shape with a bicycle pump.
Second graders were also studying the different types of communities in Social Studies. They merged the content that was being learned in Social Studies with the class read aloud to complete a Flat Stanley project. In October, a Flat Stanley was sent home with each student in the second grade. The assignment was to send their Stanley to a friend or family member in a different community than the one they live in. Stanley was to report back about his travels and share about the community that he visited (with help from the second grader, of course). Last week, Flat Stanleys started coming back to St. Jude, ready to share about their experiences.
What our Flat Stanleys discovered
So far, two second graders have shared about their Flat Stanley’s experiences in a new community. These Flat Stanleys traveled very far; one to Qatar, and one to Orlando, Florida. For both Flat Stanleys, the second graders found the location on the globe, researched how long it would take to travel to that community, and discovered what the weather was like in the community.
Jaxson Flat Stanley traveled to Orlando, Florida to visit Jaxson’s Aunt Edythe. Stanley experienced many new and different things in Orlando and wrote a letter to tell the class about all of the fun he had. The second graders then researched how long it would take to drive and to walk to Orlando, where Flat Stanley had visited. They also discovered that though it was cold and snowy in New York, in Orlando, it was 83 degrees and sunny. Second graders were only a little jealous of the warm climate Stanley had visited.
Adeline Flat Stanley traveled all the way to Qatar with Addy’s mom’s friend, who is a member of the United States Air Force. Her Flat Stanley even came back with a souvenir from his travels! Second graders were amazed to find out how far away Qatar is on the globe. They also noticed how much warmer it was in Qatar than it was at St. Jude. We realized that it would be impossible to walk or drive to Qatar, so we researched how far it would be to take an airplane to Qatar. Flat Stanley would have had a very long flight had he not been able to fit in an envelope!
We are ready to keep learning
It seems as though all of our Flat Stanleys had a great time traveling the globe. We cannot wait to learn about the travels of the rest of the second graders’ Flat Stanleys! Learning about these different locations has helped us to understand different communities around the world so much better! We love to see the connections between what we learn in class and our lives outside of school.