Publication Year: 1964
Author: Jeff Brown
Grade Level: Grade 2 to Grade 5
Theme: Accepting other's differences
Skill Taught: Keeping a journal and communicating with peers
Summary: Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning to find he is flat. Surprisingly, there are more benefits to being flat than you may think, and Stanley demonstrates a couple of them. Unfortunately, children at school begin teasing him because of his difference.
About the Author: Jeff Brown was born in New York City on January 1, 1926. He started his career as a child actor, then later became a story consultant for Paramount. He enjoyed writing fiction, which found him at Warner Books as a senior editor. Jeff is best known for his series of Flat Stanley, which the idea came to him one night before bed when one of his sons asked what would happen if a bulletin board fell on his brother, and his wife responded that he would wake up flat. Jeff would eventually pass away in December of 2003, but his beloved character of Flat Stanley lives on. (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/43329.Jeff_Brown)
For the Classroom
Pre-Reading Activity: I would begin a class discussion with the class, having the students to imagine being flat for a day and posing questions such as how they would feel, how they would be treated by others, and what they would do since they are only half an inch thick.
Post-Reading Activity: The Flat Stanley Project is something I would like my students to be involved in, as it is educational and fun. Students would color and then cut-out their Flat Stanley template, journaling every adventure they take Stanley on. The class would send their Stanley to another class as the new class would continue journaling the adventures Stanley took and then send him back. Students would plot on a map all of the places their Stanley has traveled and write a concluding journal entry.
Reflection: Flat Stanley is a humorous book which teaches an important lesson to accept everyone's differences. It teaches this lesson while not using a specific cultural background, which is why I like it even more. Flat Stanley is a character children will enjoy reading about as he goes from one adventure to another in each of the books. As students fall in love with Stanley, they will become understanding of his difference, and be able to relate to him one way or another, whether they have teased others or have been teased by others because of differences. Creating this awareness among students will help lead to better character, and a classroom of better citizens.
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