I chose the “Edmodo Flat Stanley App” for this lesson because it provides students with a variety of activities to express themselves and to connect with other students globally. The children's book "Flat Stanley", acts as an icebreaker for starting a pen pal relationship.
As an art teacher, I like that students could create an online, distinctive version of the character Stanley (male), or Stella (female) and change the name to their own. This gave the site a visual arts connection. They customize the character, input name and location and the site creates a birth certificate. Students can reach out to other children/schools across the globe to see if they will host their Stanley. The character gives students a common ground with other students because they relate to the story of “Flat Stanley.” I will encourage students to write facts about our school, favorite art activities, the climate, and favorite past times and places. They can incorporate pictures doing activities or visiting places, i.e. the beach, playing sports, surfing, etc. and then add the Stanley character to the images and post them online using the map feature. The class can send and receive Stanleys from other locations through the online social networking site. Stanley can journey to exchange information, ideas and images with other students in the United States or globally by using conventional mail or by making connections online. The app encourages students to explore similarities and differences in their cultures. There are also organizations that host Stanleys to go on virtual field trips, such as FEMA and Hewlett Packard. Through this, students will build writing and communication skills and create an information exchange to facilitate learning about geography, world cultures, etc. The site provides cross-curricular opportunities in the subject areas of: geography, world cultures, social studies, visual arts, photojournalism, digital communication, and language arts. There is also a visually stimulating world map that pinpoints the locations around the world that are using Stanleys and another map with photos posted on it. I find this Web 2.0 tool to be a “win-win” experiential learning app for teachers and students. To learn more visit http://www.flatstanley.com/
I was introduced to "Flat Stanley" a few years ago when my niece sent him to me for a visit. I had a lot of fun bringing Stanley on adventures, and my niece was so excited to see what Stanley experienced during his visit. "Flat Stanley" is such a wonderful way to introduce students to other cultures. I would assume this assignment would be extremely enjoyable for students who live in very remote areas, as well as students who live in inner cities. These students may not get exposed to much outside of their immediate vicinity, and to be exposed to other ways of living would be very interesting. I also enjoyed reading how you incorporated this lesson into an art project. The possibilities of how "Flat Stanley/Stella" could be worked into lesson plans seems to be endless. Thank you!
I can relate to the diigital version of Flat Sanley. My kids (12-20 years ago) took part in the "snail mail" version. I think the digital version would be more satisfying for kids who are used to instant gratification, and can see more places via the internet. Sound like an engaging activity.
I've always thought Flat Stanley was such a fun project. Now that he has gone digital I think it's even more fun. I agree that the digital version can open up more of the world to students. Not having to wait for the "snail mail" is nice, although sometimes that anticipation can be fun (maybe not for kids, though!). I also think it's great how you incorporated art into the lesson. This is a great lesson for learning about other cultures and for gaining experience in technology through the use of the social networking site, virtual field trips and interactive maps.
I love how you changed this lesson to really fit your subject. I was unaware of this app until you brought it to my attention. The students would really be able to show their creativity through the creation of the Flat Stanley. I also think that the students who are sometimes socially shy, will really be able to share and communicate through the character that they create. The map is also a great way to tie the lesson into the geography aspect and the students will become more familiar with locations through identifying them.
I really like this activity! The Flat Stanley website looks like something I would definitely use in my classroom. I like how you used it as an ice breaker/activating strategy. The one thing I think I will use the most is the virtual field trips. I am always looking for them to build my students' background knowledge. Thank for sharing!
What a great lesson! I've not heard of the Edmondo version of Flat Stanley but it sounds great. I think my kindergarten students would really be motivated by this activity to learn about different cultures and make connections with children from another country. The virtual field trip is great. Have you ever tried that with your students? I also like the cross-curricular aspect of the lesson. I think I'll look into this global awareness activity for my classroom next year, thanks for sharing.