Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #35: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Modelling:
            Box Sculpture
                        This is a way for creative students to turn a simple cardboard box into a work of art.  It can become a set for a diorama, a TV with a show inside...  it is limited only by the students' imaginations.
Curriculum Expectations:
Art: create a three-dimensional work, using "found" materials to create specific textures; produce two- and three-dimensional works of art (i.e., works involving media and techniques used in drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking) that communicate thoughts and feelings


Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #34: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Creative Writing:
            Add Another Chapter to the Book
                        This is a challenging topic that probably only the most ambitious and creative students would choose.  It can be a combination of some of the previous choices.  This allows students to work with paragraphs and the structure of a chapter.  It is important that it have a beginning, middle and end.  It has to tie in logically and factually with the other portions of the book.  For example, another chapter couldn't suddenly have additional members of the family.
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose; penmanship; spelling


Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #33: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Creative Writing:
            Describe Being Flat
                        This is a specific topic, unlike some of the other choices which are more open ended.  There is still a great deal of choice, however.  Students can describe what it is literally like to be flat, how it feels to be flat, how great it is to be flat, how unpleasant it is to be flat, or a combination of the above.
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose; penmanship; spelling; proofreading
 


Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #33: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Creative Writing:
            Write a Song
                        The song may have a familiar tune or it may end up being entirely original.  Genres that can be used include rap and the blues.  This can be especially successful because many familiar songs are repetitive and relatively simple to create.  (Consider how few different words there are in the song, "Happy Birthday.")  A chorus is a great way to extend a song.  A discussion of the components of a song prior to assigning the activity is a good idea.  Simple rhythm band instruments may be used to accompany the singer.  This is also a wonderful opportunity to highlight students who are able to play instruments.  It might inspire their peers to begin taking lessons.
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose, penmanship, spelling
 


Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #32: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Creative Writing:
            Write a Play
                        The play may be created collaboratively or individually.  It can be based upon the New Chapter to the Book in the other Contract option or it might be something entirely separate.  The author of the play would also be expected to create a set, costumes and props in addition to the script.
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose
Oral and Visual Communication: using expressive voice; speaking clearly; demonstrating self confidence; making eye contact while speaking
Drama: Create and explore different roles


Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #31: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Creative Writing:
            Write a Speech
                        A speech is different from other writing activities because it is usually written in the first person and presented with minimum props or setting.
The students are encouraged to select their own topics for the speech.  The speech need only be two to four minutes in length, but should still have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.  The topic should be of interest to their peers and connected with Flat Stanley.  Possible topics include:
“It’s No Fun Being Flat,” “It Sure Is Fun Being Flat,” “Imagine if Everyone Was Flat,” etc.
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose
Oral and Visual Communication: using expressive voice; speaking clearly; demonstrating self confidence; making eye contact while speaking


Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #30: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Creative Writing:
Puppet Play
The script for a puppet play requires the students to create a cast of characters, a storyline and dialogue.  The events should be interesting but able to take place within the confines of a puppet play set.  The puppets can be made from the Modelling section of the Contract and the performance can be selected from the Drama section.
 
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose, Penmanship
Drama: create and explore different roles


 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #29: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Research and Writing:
            Daily Journal
                        Many teachers expect their students to write every day.  A response journal, a diary or summary book are good ways of getting students to write, but they can grow tedious after a while.  We do not want the writing activity to feel like a chore to the students or something that they would avoid if they could; instead, we want the students to feel motivated to write.  The Daily Journal is Flat Stanley’s diary.  Even within this option there are several choices.  This can be written in the first person as if Flat Stanley were the author, (“I am really enjoying my time as a guest at Springfield Elementary School…”), in the first person by the student, (I brought my Flat Stanley to gym class today.  He liked playing volleyball…”).
 
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: writing for a specific purpose, penmanship, spelling


 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #28: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Research and Writing
            Information About Your City
                        When student write to other Flat Stanley participants, they will ask questions about what their city is like, how many students attend their school, what interesting things are in the vicinity, etc.  Therefore, the students should be able to answer these questions as well.  A way to do that is to conduct some research.  This can be done by talking with grandparents and parents, contacting people at the City Hall or the local library or even doing research on the Internet. 
A valuable distinction between Flat Stanley research and traditional research, is the motivation comes from the students themselves.  Intrinsic motivation is critical to meaningful learning.  Often, teachers tell students the topics they want them to research.  In this activity, though, the students decide what they want to know.  They decide what they are going to ask their exchange partners, then realize they should know the answers in case they are asked.  This self-directed learning is very beneficial.  It develops independence and students learn how to acquire information that has value to them.
 
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: writing for a specific purpose, spelling, library skills,
Social Studies: learning about various communities; urban-rural


 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #27: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Research and Writing
            Pen Pal Notes
                        Perhaps the most obvious curriculum connection is the creation of Pen Pal notes.  Unfortunately, sometimes the classroom teacher requests that students produce samples of writing simply so they will have something to assess at report card time.  This may not be an accurate assessment of the students’ ability.  Many students tend not to produce their best work on demand.  Quality work requires an authentic learning situation.  Pen Pal notes for the Flat Stanley Project can provide that authentic opportunity.  The students know that other students are going to be reading their notes.  Having an audience is one reason for trying a little harder to produce quality work.
When a Flat Stanley arrives from another location, it is a good idea for the teacher to make a fuss over how it looks and what the first impressions are.  Students will make the connection that when their Stanleys are sent out other people will be forming first impressions about their work, too, so they will strive to make those first impressions positive.
 
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose, Penmanship, Spelling
Technology: using web browsers and search engines


 
 Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #26: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Research and Writing
            E-Mail Notes
                        E-mail notes have all the advantages of creating pen pal notes, with the added benefit of using computer technology to communicate.  E-mail doesn’t require postage, so the expense of stamps is eliminated.  Students can be taught how to use attachments and the entire Flat Stanley Project can be conducted through electronic means with no mailing expenses.
 
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose, Penmanship, Spelling
Technology: Electronic Communication


 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #25: (Return to the Top of the Page)
 
Research and Writing
            Flat Recipes
                        Flat recipes can be found in traditional sources such as cookbooks and magazines, but the Internet opens a window on the whole world of food ideas and customs.  On a more local, low-tech approach, students should be encouraged to ask relatives for flat recipes.  This can be a cross-generational learning activity.
In addition to writing out the recipes, students will be learning about nutrition and standardized measurement.
 
Curriculum Expectations:
Language: Writing for a Specific Purpose, Penmanship, Spelling,
Social Studies: exploring the similarities and differences in eating preferences of various cultures
Math: standardized measurement
Health: healthy eating


 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #24: (Return to the Top of the Page)

If I had no limits- no fears, no weaknesses, nothing to stop me- this is what I'd do or say...
Activity: Be careful with this one!  This empowers students by allowing them to communicate through their alter-ego of Flat Stanley.  Flat Stanley, not being real, doesn't have fears or the usual constraints that may prevent us from action.
The students are to write a scenario or act out a situation where Flat Stanley acts as the spokesperson.  Shy students might simply have Flat Stanley act with more confidence.  This is similar to stories we hear about famous ventriloquists who were shy at first and used their doll as a means of overcoming their lack of confidence.
If Flat Stanley had superhuman powers, what good would the students have him do?  Re-unite parents?  Talk to world leaders about peace?  Play in a band?  Protect the environment?  How would he do these things?  What skills are required?  Are they skills the students could ever achieve themselves?
 
Outcomes and Assessment:
After the students have written or performed, the teacher should find a way to quietly point out to them that most things Flat Stanley can do, they themselves could do, too, after some preparation.
Students will come to consider various ways of doing good in society and perhaps see a way for them to take part in the future.
This should provide the teacher with some insight into the students' attitudes and values.  An angry student might have Flat Stanley do hurtful things.  If this is the case, it is much safer to discuss this as if Flat Stanley made those decisions of his own volition.  Counselling Flat Stanley as the student listens would be easier for the student to take than if the comments were directed at him or her.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #23: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Synonyms and Word of the Day
Activity: This activity expands the students' vocabulary.  Begin with the word, "flat," and each day try to come up with a synonym for it.  Use this new word in place of "flat" so that one day you will have a "Slim Stanley," "Oblate Stanley," "Planar Stanley" and "Tabular Stanley."  After "flat" has been completed, select a new word from the book such as synonyms for "Hey!"
Outcomes and Assessment:
 
Students will be asked to write a paragraph describing a Flat Stanley adventure using as many of the synonyms as possible.
Students will generalize and use expanded vocabulary and more synonyms in day to day conversations.
Students will seek to expand their vocabularies in day to day conversations
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #22: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Examining the Complexities of a Society by Building a Population of Flat Citizens
 
Activity: Our society is so very complex that it's almost impossible for us to realize how it works.  This activity allows students to create a population for a simple society.
Tell the students that they are going to design a simple community.  Flat Stanleys can be created to perform different societal roles.  A number is placed on the chest of each one to indicate how many of them there are in this society.
This might begin very simply, with a flat male and flat female.  They might have children.  Who will teach the children?  Well, this is the time to add a teacher.  Where will the teacher live?  This is time to create some construction workers to build the house.  What will the construction workers eat?  This is the time to for the construction workers to build a restaurant.  Now we need employees to work in the restaurant.  The employees won't work for free, so we need a bank to look after the money.  When they get paid, they'll need to buy food and clothes.  Now we need some stores and some people to work in the stores.  We now have a small society.  Students might choose to add fire departments and a police force.  A mayor and town council might soon follow. 
Medieval towns grew very much this way.  The miller built a mill by a river.  The farmers moved closer so they could easily grind their grain.  While they were waiting for their grain to be ground, shopkeepers arrived to sell them goods.  The blacksmith set up shop to attend to the horses that were pulling the wagons.  Wheelwrights made new wheels.  Inn keepers provided places for them to stay and after a while a small town had been created.
This ties in nicely with the Social Studies expectations that show the varying roles of helpers in society.  It also fit in with the units on trading partners and imports and exports.
As an extra challenge, ask the students to come up with the fewest number of citizens who could make a small society be self-sufficient.
Outcomes and Assessment:
 
Students would end up with a portfolio of citizens who performed various roles in society.  They would be able to explain why they included the characters they did and why they excluded others.
Since the goal is to make this society work, students would be evaluating the importance of trustworthy and productive workers.  They would hopefully internalize the value of good workers and strive to become good contributors.

Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #21: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Answering Interesting Questions: Creative Writing and Creative Questioning and Answering
 
Activity: This is a follow up activity to last week's hint where students posed questions to fictional or deceased people.  This time, the students role-play being the person to whom the questions were sent and try to come up with an answer.
Ask the students to select a letter that they or a peer previously created and to answer the question in a way they think the person to who it was sent would answer it.  If the letter a student chooses to answer was written to Julius Caesar asking if he would like to take over today's world, the student would do some research then write a reply.  The reply would have to be arguably consistent with something Caesar would have said.  There is no right answer, but the answer should be defensible from the character's point of view.
Outcomes and Assessment:
Trying to answering challenging questions might help students to better understand some of the complexities of today's life.  They might also come up with creative solutions to problems through role-playing.
Role-playing can sometimes make problem solving easier.  For example, Children's International Summer Villages (CISV) did an activity with Palestinian and Israeli children.  The challenge was for them to role play being Irish citizens and to come up with a peace plan.  By playing the role of another person in another conflict they were able to approach the problem with less personal baggage.

Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #20: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Creating Interesting Questions: Creative Writing and Creative Questioning
 
Activity: Students are to compose a Flat Stanley letter to ask the recipient to answer some interesting and complex questions.  There are two especially interesting things about this activity:
- the note won't really be sent to the person
- the person can be living or dead or even imaginary
The student is to select a person, living, dead or imaginary, to whom the student would like to write.  There is to be one big question per note.  For example, the letter to God might ask why bad things happen to good people.  A letter to Leonard da Vinci might ask if he thought he would be remebered all these years.  A letter to Mickey Mouse might ask what he thinks of computer generated movies.
Ask the students to select a recipient of a letter, but point out that this note will not be actually sent.  The recipient can be living, dead, or fictitious.  The letter needs to have a salutation and body and conclusion, just like a real letter.  This letter needs to ask one question of the person that no one could answer better.  It is important that the question fit the recipient.  Interesting questions could be posted around the room:  "I asked Julius Caesar if he would like to take over today's world."  "I asked Superman how he decided who to help and who not to help."
Outcomes and Assessment:
When students send Flat Stanleys and cover letters to peers and people of interest, it's a good idea for them to ask interesting questions.  It's not easy to come up with interesting questions presented in interesting ways, so here's a way for children to practise.
By crafting this one question the student will examine a number of possible questions and select the best.  This should be applicable when writing to peers.

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #19: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Learning to Tell Time with Flat Stanley and Arthur
 
Activity: Students are to use an image of Flat Stanley and his brother Arthur to facilitate learning to tell time.
Use two clock faces, one for the hour hand and one for the minute hand.
Arthur Lambchop is Stanley's younger brother.  To prepare for this activity, students are to create one image of Flat Stanley and another of Arthur.  Each of the figures should have one hand in their pocket.  The other hand is to be attached be a split pin so it can rotate.  There will be two separate figures, each with one hand that rotates.
Each student is to use two paper pie plates to make two clock faces.  At the centre of one clock is Arthur and at the centre of the other is Flat Stanley, each with a moveable, rotating hand.
Because of the alliteration, Arthur will tell the hour.  Also, Arthur is a good fir for being the one pointing to the hour because, as the younger brother, his arm is shorter than Stanley's as the hour hand is shorter than the minute hand.
Begin with Arthur.  Have the students indicate the hour with Arthur's hand.  This is using a clock that has only one hand- the hour hand- on it.  After mastery has been demonstrated, have the students indicate the half hour, but again, only using the clock with the hour hand.  Students will recognize that at half past 5, for example, the hour hand is half way between the 5 and the 6.  Repeat the half hour and the hour until mastery has been achieved.
Continue to use the single hour hand to estimate quarter after and quarter to.  Tell the students that very early clocks only had one hand- the hour hand- and it wasn't until later on, when people required more accuracy, that the minute hand was added.
After the students are successful with having Arthur and his hour hand show the time, students are to begin using both Arthur and Stanley- still on separate clock faces- to show the time.  Students will learn that when Arthur's hour hand is half way between the numbers to indicate the hour, Stanley's minute hand will be halfway around the clock.  By teaching the hour and minute hands separately, students should achieve quicker and more lasting success.
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will be able to tell time using an analog clock.  The teacher will say, "At 8 o'clock Arthur goes to bed.  Use both clocks to show 8 o'clock."  Students' clocks will show how successful they are.
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #18: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Flat Stanley Poetry
 
Activity: Students are to use Flat Stanley as the theme while using a variety of poetry forms
Outcomes and Assessment: Students are to create 6 poems, each fitting into a separate form.
Using Flat Stanley as the common theme will facilitate standardized marking.
 
Types of Poetry Can Include:
Noun, Verb, Adverb
Haiku
Acrostic
Cinquain
Shape
Free Verse
Cinquain
Blank Verse
Nursery Rhyme
 
A great resource for poetry definitions is: 30 Days of Poetry at
http://www.msrogers.com/English2/poetry/30_days_of_poetry.htm
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #17 (Return to the Top of the Page)

Transportation: Making A Gravity Powered Vehicle for Flat Stanley
 
Activity: This is a variation on the previous idea, Flight.  In this idea, though the vehicle is to have wheels and stay on the ground.  It is to have no outside source of propulsion.  It can be started by a ramp, but not a push.  The vehicle must be able to transport a Flat Stanley.  A written prediction of how the vehicle will perform with an explanation is also expected to be submitted.
Outcomes and Assessment: The final assessment is whether the vehicle actually transports a Flat Stanley, but there are many other things that can be assessed as well:
If completed collaboratively:
-         was there a sharing of ideas?
-         did everyone participate and contribute?
-         were all opinions considered?
-         was there a plan?
-         was a problem-solving strategy used when things didn’t go as planned?
 
Related Assessment:
Students may also apply math skills as they estimate, then use, standard units of measure to determine how far the vehicle travelled.
The Flat Stanley wheeled vehicle should be designed to compete in a particular category.  The categories can include:
- a vehicle that travels the fastest
- a vehicle that travels the slowest
- a vehicle that travels the farthest
(There is not a category for the vehicle that travels the shortest distance)
Using a stop watch to record the time the vehicle is in motion and a ruler or metre stick to measure the distance travelled, students can then calculate the speed using the formula,  speed equals distance divided by time (S = d/t).  By making modifications to the vehicle they can determine if their changes have made the vehicle speed up or slow down.  Students would be expected to predict how the vehicle will perform after the modifications, then explain why the vehicle did or didn't behave as predicted.
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #16 (Return to the Top of the Page)

Flight: Making A Flying Flat Stanley
 
Activity: Students may have read Jeff Brown’s book, Stanley and the Magic Lamp, in which Stanley and Arthur learn to fly with the help of their friend who is a genie.  In this activity, students are to make a paper airplane that actually flies, using paper that, when unfolded, is in the shape of Flat Stanley.
 
Outcomes and Assessment: The final assessment is whether the paper Flat Stanley actually flies, but there are many other things that can be assessed as well:
If completed collaboratively:
-         was there a sharing of ideas
-         did everyone participate and contribute
-         were all opinions considered
-         was there a plan
-         was a problem-solving strategy used when things didn’t go as planned
-         was the pattern based on the shape of Flat Stanley
 
Related Assessment:
Students may also apply math skills as they estimate then use standard units of measure to determine how long the flight lasted or the distance their craft flew.
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #15 (Return to the Top of the Page)

Drawing Realistic-Looking Faces for Flat Stanley
 Activity: Students can make their Flat Stanleys look almost any way they want, but students would also like to be able to draw faces accurately.  The following animation shows how that can be done.
 Outcomes and Assessment: The students will follow step-by-step instructions and create drawings of faces.  Those who followed the instructions the most accurately will have the best looking Flat Stanleys.  The students can apply this procedure in other applications that require faces to be drawn.
The character that is created by following these instructions can be the Time-Traveller from the previous week's activity.
 

  Here's the step by step way to make a face
- Draw an egg. 
- Draw a horizontal line across the middle. 
- Hang two footballs out to dry.  
- Add eye lids and lines at the outside corners. 
- Place two large donuts in the eyes.  
- Place a test tube below the eyes. 
- Carefully insert two fish hooks into the bottom of the test tube and then pull down two nose hairs. 
- Then think of the nose hairs as the suspension cables of a bridge.  Draw the top lines of the bridge, then a horizontal line where bridge traffic goes, then the valley below the bridge.  That makes the mouth. 
- Add lines from the nose curved downward and put a ping pong ball under the original egg.  The bottom of the ping pong ball becomes the new chin.  
- Connect the new chin to the egg where the horizontal middle line intersects. 
- Add a neck.  Don't make it too narrow.   Make it about as wide as an imaginary line dropping down from the outside of each eye. 
- Add dancing worms for eyebrows.  The position and shape of the eyebrows give expression. 
- Add ears.  The top of the ear goes to the eyebrow and the bottom of the ear goes to the bottom of the nose.
- Erase the lines you don't need, including the top of the head. 
- Add hair by drawing one wavy hair line, then drawing two more parallel to it.  Draw a different hair then repeat several times.  Add a beard and moustache to make it look like a pioneer or medieval character. 
 
-Add shading or colour to complete.
This can also be used to make a female face by adding different hair styles.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #14 (Return to the Top of the Page)

Flat Stanley the Social Studies Time-Travelling Pioneer
Activity: Students make paper Flat Stanleys, dress them in authentic outfits of various historic time periods, then send them back on a virtual time-travelling experience along with a journal
Outcomes and Assessment: This Social Studies activity fits in especially well with units on Early Pioneer Settlers or Medieval Times.  The students will be required to do some research in order to make authentic looking clothing.  Once the Flat Stanley is ready to travel he will be sent back in time.  The students then exchange Flat Stanleys and role-play being characters in that time period, treat the Flat Stanley as a guest from the future and complete his journal.  This is an opportunity for students to research then write what they know of the time period in the first person.
At another time of the day the students exchange their Flat Stanleys back to their owners, welcome Flat Stanley back to the present, and read the journals.  The students then complete a modern version of the journal.  This will help them compare and contrast Pioneer or Medieval Life with the present.  This is one of the Social Studies curriculum expectations.
As a result of this exercise students will be better able to describe the roles of adults and children in our modern society and in a specific time period of the past.
In order for the journals to completed with accuracy, the students will need to conduct research and acquire the information.
The activity can conclude with an article written on behalf of Flat Stanley called either, “Why I Would Rather Live in Medieval Times” or, “Why I Would Rather Live in the Present.”  Students would be expected to support their positions with facts and comparisons as well as some creativity.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #13: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Flat Stanley Postage Stamps
Activity: Create colourful stamps to stick on the Christmas Cards (see last week's hint) or on other Flat Stanley letters.
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will create full size images and, using technology (scanner, computer, photocopier), reduce them to nearer the size of a postage stamp.  The final product will be of good quality and will include an image that expresses a specific sentiment (Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Happy Hanukah, Happy Birthday, Happy Flatday, etc.)  Art work could include pictures of a Flat Santa and Flat Reindeer or something else based on the Flat Stanley theme or content from the stories.
Procedure: Option 1: Begin with a blank sheet of paper.  Measure in from the edge 3 cm (1 inch) from various points and make a small dot using a pencil.  Connect the dots by lightly drawing a line all the way around.  The card should now have a rectangular border parallel to the outside edge.  Scallop the outside edges so it looks like the perforated edge of a postage stamp.  Draw a simple image within the inner rectangle.  Use bold colours without text.
Option 2: Create the stamp using a paint program on a computer.  Reduce the size when printing.
After the picture has been completed, it can be either scanned into a computer, loaded into a graphics program, reduced and printed, or this can be done using the resize options of most photocopiers.
The original stamps can be posted to decorate the room.  The printed miniatures may be affixed to Flat Stanley letters as decorations.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #12: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Flat Stanley Christmas Card
Activity: Use Flat Stanley as ambassador of sending Merry Christmas wishes and Season's Greetings
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will create Christmas or seasonal cards.  The final product will be of good quality and will express a specific sentiment (Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Happy Hanukah, etc.)  Art work could include pictures of a Flat Santa and Flat Reindeer or something else based on the Flat Stanley theme or content from the stories.
Procedure: Begin with a sheet of coloured construction paper.  Fold it in half.  Students who know how to make pop-up cards can add those folds.  Draw and colour flat figures on a separate blank sheet of paper.  Cut these out and arrange them on the Flat Stanley card.  Include an appropriate message.  Students may send them home with friends, take them home to their families, mail them to friends and other Flat Stanley participants or tape them to their desks for the Christmas season.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #11: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Acute and Obtuse Angles
Activity: Use Flat Stanley to demonstrate acute, obtuse and right angles and that the sum of the angles equals 180 degrees.
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will create a cardboard Flat Stanley with arms and legs attached by split pins so they can rotate.  The teacher will ask students to move Stanley's arm so the angle between his leg is acute.  The students will adjust the arm then hold up the Stanley.  The teacher can tell at a glance who has grasped the concept.  An arm pointed straight out to the left or the right would make a right angle at Stanley's armpit.
Procedure: Begin with a sheet of construction paper.  Make an angular Flat Stanley.  To attach the split pins, place a piece of plasticine behind the paper and gently push through the point of the pin.  This Flat Stanley should be made more angular than usual, so if his arm is extended straight up there will be a straight line (180 degrees) from the tip of one finger all the way down to his foot.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #10: (Return to the Top of the Page)
Feelings and Empathy
Activity: Write from Stanley's point of view what it must be like to be different.
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will produce written work that demonstrates the ability to look at an issue from the other person's point of view.
Procedure: Discuss in what ways Flat Stanley was different.  Ask students to think about, but not talk about, times when they felt different or excluded or ignored.  Assign a writing activity that is to cover how Flat Stanley might feel while flat and how his friends and even people he doesn't know could make him feel badly, then how they could help him feel better.
Key Questions: Could Stanley help it that he was flat?  Are there physical characteristics that pwople have that they can't help? Are we all the same in every way? Is it OK to be different?
Remind students of the conversation between Mrs. Lambchop's and Stanley:
     Stanley told his parents how he felt.  "It's the other kids I mostly mind, " he said.  They don't like me any more because I'm different.  Flat."
     "Shame on them," Mrs. Lambchop said.  It is wrong to dislike people for their shapes.  Or their religion, for that matter, or the colour of their skin."
     "I know," Stanley said.  "Only maybe it's impossible for everybody to like everybody."
     "Perhaps," said Mrs. Lambchop.  "But they can try."

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #9: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Similes
Activity: Create as many similes as you can for Flat Stanley and his family; expand to other situations
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will recognize similes and use them properly in their speaking and writing
Procedure: Talk about Flat Stanley's shape and ask if anyone has heard of a description that uses "like" or "as" to connect dissimilar items.  Point out that saying, "Stanley was as flat as a pancake," is a simile but saying, "Stanley is as flat as a piece of paper," is not.  It is not a simile to say, "Her eyes were like big blue circles with black dots in the centre," because that's what they were.  A simile has to connect items that are not usually thought of together such as a boy and a pancake.  A simile requires the use of the words "like" or "as."
Encourage students to collect as many similes as they can, not just related to Flat Stanley.  Similes can be written on a cut-out of Flat Stanley on each student's desk.  These can be collected from other students' conversations, novel, television, teachers, etc.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #8: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Symmetry
Activity: Create Symmetrical Flat Stanley
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will recognize symmetry and create drawings with a line of symmetry
Procedure: Students cut out from a magazine a picture of person in a pose facing the viewer.  Cut the picture in half vertically so that only one half of the image remains.  Attach the half image to a sheet of paper and carefully draw in the mirror image of the picture.  When finished, the left and right sides of the image should be very similar and symmetrical.  Remove the original half picture leaving only a half drawing.  Complete this half drawing the same was a before, creating a mirror image of the drawing.
The result will be a picture that can be used as a Flat Stanley to mail to other classes that has been drawn completely by the sender.  It has been based on an image from a magazine, but the final product is entirely hand drawn.  Colour it in and send it as a travelling Flat Stanley.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #7: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Descriptive Flat Bookmark
Activity: Create an illustrative bookmark
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will create bookmarks that describe the books that have been read and present important events in order.
Procedure: Students create bookmark with drawings of important events.  Each time the students stop reading they are to add to their bookmarks.  If a student were only half way through a book, the bookmark would be only half completed.  A teacher should be able to glance at the bookmark and tell where the student left off and what main events have occurred thus far.
If a child is having difficulties with recalling the events of a story in sequence this will be apparent to the teacher.  A bookmark with very few details might indicate comprehension concerns. 
The bookmark becomes a mini book report.  After each book has been read the bookmarks can be added to the student's portfolio as a method of keeping track of the books that have been read.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #6: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Flat Stanley, Flat Stanley, Flat Stanley
Activity: Using only the letters that appear in "Flat Stanley, Flat Stanley, Flat Stanley," students, either individually or in small groups, are to write as many words as they can think of in two minutes.
Outcomes and Assessment: More creative students will come up with a longer list, but all students should be able to build lists of correctly spelled words.  The more often this activity is completed the more words that should be created in a short time span.
Procedure: Either in small groups or individually students make a list of word using only the letter used to write "Flat Stanley" three times.  At the end of the allotted time the teacher asks each student or each group to add a word to the list.  The challenges are:
What are the longest words you can create?
Who can create the most 2 syllable words?
Who can think of the most words?
After "Flat Stanley" has been exhausted, use other words such as, "elephant, elephant, elephant."  See which 3 words provide the best opportunities to make other words.  Allow students to suggest which word, repeated three times, will provide the most other words that can be spelled using its letters.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #5: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Create Standard Unit of Measurement Flat Stanley
Activity: Students or the teachers make Flat Stanleys where each part of Stanley is a multiple of a standard measure. For example, the length could be 20 cm, the width 10 cm, his legs 3 cm wide and his arms 2 cm wide. The measurements of every part of Stanley would be labelled on the back and represent a specific distance. It would be the Swiss Army Knife of measurement. With a standard measured Flat Stanley on every child's desk, each student would have a reference for estimating distances. They would get a sense of metric measurement with this real life estimating tool.
Outcomes and Assessment: Students will have a handy frame of measurement reference available.  This is not new- a "rule of thumb" has been used for centuries as one of the first measuring units.  People used to use their feet, arms and digits as measuring units.  The problem was not everyone's thumbs were a standard size.  Flat Stanley's can be.  This should increase students' estimation skills for measurement.
Procedure: Students make a Standard Unit of Measurement Flat Stanley composed of separate sections of either pre-measured pieces or from pieces they have measured themselves.  On the back of the Stanley the measurements should be labelled but left unlabelled on the front. 

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #4: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Create "Visiting Authors" puppets
Activity: Each student creates a Flat Stanley or flat self puppet out of a paper bag or a sock.
Outcomes and Assessment: The students will create a puppet that they will use to read their written work.  Students should use animated voices as their puppet reads.   This should allow shy students to read aloud through their puppets and avoid embarrassment. 
Procedure: Students make puppets out of paper bags or socks.  They can add items such as buttons for eyes and yarn for hair, but if they are kept light-weight and flat they can be mailed to other schools at minimal expense.
If the student creates a written work with more than one character, additional puppets can be created to play the roles.  The paper and sock puppets can be sent to other classes in the school or mailed to other schools along with the written work.  Receiving students can treat the puppet as a visiting author and use the puppet to read the work that has been sent.  Those students can then add to the written work and return it or create their own written work and mail it back with another visiting author puppet.
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #3: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Create Personalized Flat Stanleys to show emotions
Activity: Each student creates a selection of Flat Stanleys that represent a range of emotions.
Outcomes and Assessment: The students will display the Flat Stanley that best represents their current moods.  Teachers might notice that during Math class a particular student always has an angry or sad face.  When a student has to visit a different parent on the weekend it would be helpful for the teacher to see what emotion was being displayed on Fridays.  It will help the teacher keep track of activities and times of day or times of the week when students are more unhappy or emotionally fragile.  It will provide a safe vehicle for students who are uncomfortable expressing their emotions to let their peers and adults know how they are feeling.
Procedure: Students will make a series of Flat Stanleys that can either look like themselves or like a traditional Flat Stanley.  Each flat self will represent a different emotion.  They can be kept in an envelope in each student's desk.  On the back of the Flat Stanley is an explanation.  It would be written in the third person (Flat Stanley is sad today because he was late getting up and his mother yelled at him."  By expressing feelings through Flat Stanley it should be easier for students to share sensitive information.
Students would be encouraged to examine their emotions and to display the appropriate flat self that reflects how they are feeling.
By expressing emotions and attitudes through their flat selves it is hoped that students won't have to act out as much to show how they are feeling.  The teacher can be sensitive to the moods of the flat selves and prevent blow ups and unexpected emotional outbursts.

 
 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #2: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Use Personalized Flat Stanleys from the first week to assist in taking attendance. 
Activity: Each student uses Flat Stanley to keep track of attendance
Outcomes and Assessment: The students will develop a routine of collecting their Flat Stanleys as they enter the room.   Difficulties following routines will quickly become apparent.
Procedure: The teacher should laminate each Flat Stanley so they'll last longer.  At the end of each day the students are to return their flat selves to a special attendance section of bulletin board.  They can be held in place by magnets or tape or paper clips.  As the students arrive in the morning they are to take their flat selves from the board and put them on their desks to act as name tags.
The flat selves that are left on the bulletin board will therefore represent students who are absent that day.  Taking attendance is now simply a matter of recording the names of the Flat Stanleys that are left on the Attendance Bulletin Board.  (Of course, mistakes will be made at first, but with practice this could become a beneficial part of the attendance taking routine.)
This can also be used if a student has an appointment in the day and needs to leave early or go to an appointment.  Especially if the class is being covered by a planning teacher, it will be helpful for the home room teacher to come back into the room, look at the attendance bulletin board, and tell at a glance if anyone has left the classroom.
The routine is, before you go home put your Flat Stanley self on the Attendance Bulletin Board.
A variation of this could be for students to put their Flat Stanley selves in another section of bulletin board whenever they go to the washroom.  This would help teachers keep track of their students.
 

 
Flat Stanley Hint of the Week #1: (Return to the Top of the Page)

Make Personalized Flat Stanleys as a "Get to Know You" Activity
Activity: Each student creates a personalized Flat Stanley
Outcomes and Assessment: The Flat Stanley each student creates will show the teacher the students' fine motor skills, scissor skills, collaborative abilities, attention span, attention to detail, commitment to quality work and pace of work.  The completed Flat Stanley will serve as a name tag and will give others some ideas of the owner's interests.
Procedure: Teachers of younger students may wish to provide a tracing template, but each student is invited to create a Flat Stanley that looks like themselves.  Each Stanley should probably be no longer than 27 cm (12 inches).
Students are encouraged to add details that show the Stanley is them such as matching hair styles and colour, matching skin colour and a few items that show what interests that child has, such as soccer balls or a dancing.
Students are to print their names across the front of their flat self and wear as a name tag.  This will help the teacher and other students learn the names of the students in the class and also to learn a few things about that person just by looking at their flat figure.
Flat Stanley Project
Hints of the Week
Welcome to the Original Flat Stanley Project!
Created, owned and operated since 1995 by Dale Hubert, M.Ed.
Welcome to the Original Flat Stanley Project!