THE pupils of Knock Primary 1-3 welcomed back a very special classmate this week as their ‘Flat Stanley’ returned all the way from his adventures in China!
A world-wide phenomenon, the Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 in America as a means to facilitate letter-writing in schoolchildren and is based on the 1964 children’s book ‘Flat Stanley’ written by Jeff Brown.
Stanley Lambchop and his younger brother Arthur are given a big bulletin board by their father to display pictures and posters; yet while Stanley is asleep, the board falls off the wall and flattens him!
Not to fear though, Stanley makes the best of his altered state and soon is entering locked rooms by sliding under the door and playing with his younger brother by being used as a kite.
But the best thing about being Flat Stanley is that now he can visit friends from across the world simply by being mailed in an envelope!
Having read the Flat Stanley story in class last year, the Knock primary pupils set about making their own Flat Stanley’s and posting them to friends and relatives around the world.
And the Knock School Flat Stanley has proved to be an excellent globe-trotting adventurer, having travelled to Paris, Germany, Florida, Orkney Thailand, New York, Canada, Glasgow, Strathaven, South Africa, Edinburgh, Perth in Australia, and most recently China.
He has also mixed with some famous faces, last year meeting Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who thought Flat Stanley was ‘very cute’.
But the pupils have not only been excited to see where their Flat Stanley will travel to next – they’ve also been busy playing host to a series of Flat Stanleys (and his flat pals) from as far a field as Germany and Canada.
Student Cailean Macleod spent some time looking after a Flat Stanley from a school in Frankfurt, Germany, and proved to be the perfect tour guide: “I took him to football practice and also took him to meet my Grandpa and we went for a ride on the tractor,” he said.
And Rachel Macdonald took care of Florida’s Flat Stella who experienced snow during her island visit, probably for the first time, as well as being taken to Rachel’s Sunday school and Rainbows meeting.
Katie Macleod took a Flat Stanley from Wiltshire on holiday with her to show him the Falkirk Wheel and Glasgow Science Centre, and Freya Maclean toured Lewis with a Nottingham Flat Elise, pointing out the Arnol Blackhouses and Whalebone Arch along the way.
“It’s been an excellent project and has really captured the children’s imagination,” says class teacher Mrs Mitchell.
“We have a large world map and every time Flat Stanley has gone anywhere, or we’ve received a Flat Stanley from another school, we put a pin to mark the spot, so it’s been brilliant for teaching the children world geography; as well as starting them on letter writing.”
Now recovering from his trek to the Great Wall of China – courtesy of hitching a ride with school secretary Dolina Macleod – the Knock School Flat Stanley will be busy updating his blog, so you can read all about his latest adventures at www.knockschool.wordpress.com