Flat Stanley

It seems as though my first grader is reading about Flat Stanley. This poor boy was flattened to 2D when a bulletin board fell on him at night. And get this, it's supposed to be humorous. I'm thinking nightmare city. What kid will ever want a bulletin board in their room after reading this?

So Stanley's parents mail him to out of town relatives for a visit. Things are getting worse and worse for this poor kid. I'm getting the message that if I'm 2D my parents will look for ways to ditch me. And the USPS is quite handy when you're as thin as paper.

In order for the class to get wholly involved in this, each student will have their own little Flat Stanley. We are to actually mail the paper boy to an out of town relative. We've got the easy part. This relative has to give F. Stanley the grand tour of this new and wonderful city he finds himself in. This relative has the ridiculously insane job of hunting down sights and attractions, gathering brochures and information on them, and mailing all this back. But don't forget to take Stan along when you're getting them because he won't actually see the sights if you don't, and that's the whole point of the project.

What truly worries me is that we live in a rural community. How can I delicately put this? We're one step away from being inbred hillbillies. I know for a fact that there will be a few kids in the first grade who do not have family outside Somerset County. Where will thier little Stanleys go?

**Before anyone jumps all over me, I'm sure that this is a very cute little book and is actually humorous just as described. And this will be incredible fun for the kids to see what is offered outside of Somerset so that when they grow up they'll know to run fast and far. But as I was reading the teacher's letter I couldn't help being struck by the humor in it. Remember, I'm the mom who writes "I need help" notes on the bottom of important papers.


Cecily R said...

Holy cow! My son had the same project a few years ago! I have to admit, I never really thought about it like you did...I think maybe my mind is too immature...I kept thinking that it just might be fun to get mailed somewhere! What a dork I can be!

Deanne said...

Do you need an adoptive family to send him to? Let me know, I have a 1st grader who may find this fun to share in.

Michelle said...

Another blogger friend's daughter just did this project and her Flat Stanley was mailed to me :)

Maybe some of the classmates who have all their family in that town, will have a mom who blogs and can get someone from somewhere else to help out! :)

I didn't know about the curved pinky finger either, no one pointed it out to me and I don't know even remember when I became aware of it- it wasn't right away that was for sure! It was after I read about it that I had to go check! LOL

Here is a link to one site that has it listed as a characteristic:

Michelle said...


Hmm...it didn't paste the whole link so I'm trying again. If this doesn't work, and you actually want to see this link, just email me LOL

The Rocking Pony said...

Cecily, I hadn't thought of that perspective. See? That's why we need think tanks. It would be cool to be able to mail myself to dream vacation destinations. Now I'm jealous of the thin guy. ;)

The teacher's note did say that if you don't have family or friends you can mail Stanley to, she'd find somewhere to send him. Apparently she's all too aware of our "dont' leave the county" mentality.

Quite frankly, I'd like to sort through the mail when Stanley comes back. It may be all the vacation I'll get this year.

Cecily R said...

To answer your question about snow...Utah, and it only lasted one day. All afternoon on Saturday it snowed/rained and some of that weird crusty snow stuck on our lawn for a few hours. Gracie was very disappointed that there wasn't enough to make a snowman.

Now it's gone and today it was in the high sixties again. Weird.

The Rocking Pony said...

Oooh, fun. I love October snow because you know it won't last. It'll get warmer again before getting cold. It's just plain fun.

Except Alaska. Snow is there to stay in October.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Interesting! Sometimes these projects sound so good on paper -hahaha- Let us know how flat Stanley likes his trip!
kari & kijsa

Rick said...

Nice blog - warm feeling - cute photos of the fam.


The Rocking Pony said...

Deanne, thank so much for the kind offer. We have family in DC and our little Stanley will be getting to tour the Pentagon among other fun things. But I appreciate that you've so generously stepped up.

Cecily R said...

It does count, it does it does! Okay, maybe not, but hopefully it'll keep people at bay for a bit...at least until I lose 20 pounds! Ha!

Chaim said...

I think this is a terrible assignment. Getting a 'stanley' in the mail from a child is sort of a cuter version of a chain letter, only instead of just sending it on to friends, you have to go out and gather literature and information.

I can't help but wonder why the teacher could not instead modify this assignment so that the kids have to pick a place (any place) they would want to send their 'Stanley' to, and then do research themselves about this place and find out things they didn't know before.

It would not have to be anything extensive. just two or three pieces of information would do. Involving previously uninvolved parties in such a... er... involved way just seems potentially unpleasant. Not to mention the fact that the student will have to count on this person they know to send the information back.

My method would also eliminate the "stay local" problem you described.

Karen said...

Chaim, apparently this is a common thing to do in first grade. Every teacher in the nation does this and since I'd homeschooled the others through first grade it's all new to me.

So you're volunteering to host our Flat Stanley then? NYC would be so fun. ;)

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind my comments coming so late, but I'm just found your wonderful blog.

Three years ago my now husband's niece had this same project. Luckily for her I was around at this time to take over. FS went everywhere with us. He rode the mower with me, went to work with my husband, rode in the race car, the 4-wheeler, jumped on the tramp with my husband and played with the dogs. The letter I wrote included pictures of each activity and was 5 pages long. Her teacher said it was the best one she's ever had turned in. It was fun.