Last term, my CT in the second grade class incorporated this project related to the Flat Stanley books. Her highest reading groups created their own Flat Stanley using a body template and gluing a photograph of themselves as the face. The project is worldwide and my teacher had contacted other people who signed up online, so the students could choose out of the countries available and send their Flat Stanley. The people take pictures of themselves with the Flat Person and write letters about what they did/where they went. It seems like a very cool hands-on activity to connect a book they read in class to real-world events and other cultures.When I was searching recommended blogs to follow, I found one that had a “Traveling Teddy” project as its most recent post. It is pretty similar to the Flat Stanley, except with Teddy bears and they solely go to schools. The project is still new, but I really want to sign up when I get a job in the Spring (hopefully). It starts in August 2015, so I will have time to get on their list and tell my future class about it.
These projects are very innovative because they are connecting students to the rest of the world through tangible artifacts, like teddy bears or Flat Stanley people. When I was in Kindergarten, we had a class teddy bear with which students took home for the weekend and they captured the adventures with it (through pictures, a poster, or a story). It was a very fun way to get to know more about fellow classmates and what they like to do outside of school. The Traveling Teddies and Flat Stanley projects do a similar thing, but they are even more effective due to being international. I would love to integrate some of these (or ALL!) into my classroom; they build cultural awareness in a great way 🙂