The project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a grade three schoolteacher in London, Ontario, Canada. It is meant to facilitate letter-writing by schoolchildren to each other as they document what Flat Stanley has done with them. Dale Hubert received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2001 for the Flat Stanley Project.
The Flat Stanley Project provides an opportunity for students to make connections with students of other member schools who’ve signed up with the project. Students begin by reading the book and becoming acquainted with the story. Then they make paper “Flat Stanleys” (or pictures of the Stanley Lambchop character) and keep a journal for a few days, documenting the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. The Flat Stanley and the journal are mailed to other people who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his journal, then return them both after a period of time. The project has many similarities to the Travelling gnome prank except, of course, for the Flat Stanley Project’s focus on literacy.
Students may find it fun to plot Flat Stanley’s travels on maps and share the contents of the journal. Often, a Flat Stanley returns with a photo or postcard from his visit. Some teachers may prefer to use e-mail.
In 2005, more than 6,000 classes from 47 countries took part in the Flat Stanley Project.
The project was featured in a 2004 episode of the animated TV series King of the Hill. Here, Peggy Hill and Luanne Platter received a Flat Stanley doll in the mail and photographed it in a number of dangerous situations, resulting in the school’s Flat Stanley Project being canceled.
According to the Feb. 26th broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Flat Stanley was on board US Airways Flight 1549 which landed safely in the Hudson River. He was carried to safety in the briefcase of his traveling companion.
For more info check out the official Flat Stanley website here.
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