Flat Stanley Meets the Curriculum

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Teachers from other geographical areas are invited to suggest other Curriculum Applications for Flat Stanley.
Flat Themes
If your school system is similar to mine you are expected to cover and assess reading, writing, math, technology, music, art, social studies, etc. If you like themes, Flat Stanley can touch on all of these areas. The FS Project is a vehicle that can deliver the outcomes of the Ministry of Education for Language, Science and Technology, Self and Society and Mathematics. 
The Bluejays, the Simpsons, The Premier, The Prime Minister, Oprah, etc. 
Make a list with your students of all the foods we eat that are flat. Invite a parent to come in a prepare pan cakes, cheese on crackers or whatever. Talk about healthy snacks and you've integrated some Health. 
The challenge is to help Stanley get from one end of a plank to the other end, 2 metres away. At the end of the plank is a cereal box into which Stanley must fit. If the plank is inclined students could make go carts from toilet paper rolls, put on some wheels, put in FS and let him roll. Or, make a small paper box with the bottom open. Put it over a marble. The marble will roll and move the box. (This looks like the picture of FS at the top of this page.) Tape FS to the box. Time the races. Try heavier and lighter. Change the incline and record the results. On a level board students would have to come up with sources of power. Electric motors or elastic bands or balloons that deflate like a rocket could be used. Record the results, come up with ways of improvement. Why did one way work and another one not? Use graphs to plot the success and use ratios. For example, you might have a 1 in 3 success rate. It's the Scientific Method and Mathematics in action! 
Get those plastic sleeves that banks put your bank statement book in. Make a stand to hold it vertically. Fill 2/3 with potting soil. Plant seeds and watch the roots grow. Instead of the plastic sleeve use overhead projector acetates or plastic lunch bags held in a Popsicle stick frame. Turn the bag after the plant begins to grow. Do the roots change direction? Experiment with varying light and water. Try different seeds. Record the results. Compare the results to the predictions the students recorded earlier.
What is the smallest kite that can be made that will fly while transporting a flat character? How far can a paper airplane fly? How long can it stay in the air? Predict then record. Compare results to the predictions and account for any discrepancies. Try again. 
On a piece of stiff cardboard lay out a town and build facades of buildings. Plan for a park. Consider traffic flow. Do you want the school near the park or near downtown? Why? Are there bike trails? Is there mass transportation?
Make flat figures and attach paper clips to their feet. By holding a magnet under the board the students could move their figures through the town. Is the scale right? Are the doors the right size? Is the Library wheel chair accessible? Does the school have play equipment?
With the exchange of journals writing is probably the most obvious application in the FS Project. Consider adding poetry, songs, imaginary trips and Stanleys description of what it is like travelling in an envelope.
As Stanleys arrive from other schools measure and record and sort and categorize their dimensions. Estimate how many cubes would cover his head, how many Stanleys placed end to end would reach down the hall, etc.
Identify several Flat Stanley mailing sites and determine their distance from you. Which one is farthest? By how much? How far would he travel to make return trips to each one? How could he visit all of the sites in a round trip that would cover the least or most distance? 
Flat Stanley Curriculum Connections
After reading how Stanley hides from the art thieves I asked my students to draw a masterpiece all their own using only pencil or black and white. They were to include a drawn border frame. After they completed their art I handed out small outlines of Flat Stanley for them to camouflage into their own masterpieces. They were very clever in their addition of Stanley to their drawings. They really enjoyed making this art connection. 
After reading Flat Stanley I challenged my third grade class to create a product that flat people may need. We discussed how it did not seem unusual that Stanley was flattened and the doctor had even seen this condition before, therefore if we had been flattened what things would we need to be made especially for us. After completing an idea outline, my students had to create the product or an advertisement for it. We had a skateboard with belts for a flat person’s shoes to hold them on and it even folded up to make it flat and easy to carry. Another student created Flat Fashions and another used sticks of gum but had Stanley in the commercial and on the package to help sell it. They were really very interesting. My class loves Stanley!
Diane Serio
Grade Three 
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