When I was planning our curriculum I wanted to plan something really fun for Geography. I had read the Flat Stanley books (http://www.flatstanley.com) with the boys and heard about schools doing projects and sending their own flat boy around and we loved that idea.
It took me a little time to figure out the best way to arrange it all, but I finally got it together and the Flat Boys have been traveling all around the world! We’re having so much fun receiving letters, emails and pictures of our boys traveling. Here are some things this project needed to be:
1. FUN! For everyone involved. I didn’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed! I also wanted the boys to actually soak up this information. So far, Samuel is fascinated and loves to look up more information on the places they travel. Isaiah just loves the silly pictures of Flat Isaiah.
2. Easy to manage. I needed to be able to keep up with the project over the years to come. I have a form letter that goes to each person to introduce the Flat Boys and explain the project. I have been known to forget to change the state or family name on said letters! Thankfully you all understand! We tried sending the boys to states in order of statehood, but we ran into a few road blocks and decided to just send them in order of volunteers.
3. Engaging – It makes me a little frustrated when I stay up late at night putting together a homeschool project and the boys are completely uninterested! They are responsible for updating their letters each time the Flat Boys head out on a new adventure. They also stuff the envelopes and take them to the post office to get them stamped. It’s always a great teaching experience when my boys have to engage with other adults. Samuel now knows the Postmaster by name, and the Postmaster knows every detail of the project, and a few other things.
We have a large quilt of the USA and one of the Globe that Gran-Gran got them and they work perfectly for Samuel to track the boys on.
Isaiah has a magnetic USA board he adds the states on as each boy travels off.
Then they have their journals and workbooks we write in before we send the boys off.
4. An Opportunity to show Thankfulness – My boys make cards and purchase a small Texas gift for each person who participates in this project. It’s very important to me that they understand each person took time to participate and they didn’t have to do that. I know I have a hard time just keeping up with the day-to-day demands, so it’s a lot to ask people to travel with, photograph and then journal their adventures. To drive this point home, they hosted Flat Thunder from a school in North Dakota and they learned very quickly it’s not always easy to take your time and dedicate it to others, but it is FUN!
5. A treasure for them to keep – I am compiling all the emails, letters, photos and literature in a book for each of them. We plan to continue this project for several years so this is something I have to keep on top of.
We decided to make 4 of each Flat Boy so participants didn’t feel rushed to do everything at once. One set goes international and the other 3 stay in the USA. Right now they are having fun in Massachusetts, Maine, South Carolina, West Virgina, Washington and North Dakota.
I’m happy to report the project is a smashing success so far! The flat boys have been welcomed into many homes and have a waiting list for their next travels! Participants have gone above and beyond to make this project fun for the boys. On days like today when my list is long and blog time short, I’ll share some these adventures with YOU! Enjoy, and let me know if you want to the Flat Boys to travel with YOU!
Flat Isaiah went to stay Mrs. Pat in Delaware first and she set the bar high! Mrs. Pat was a friend of friend who didn’t even know our family, talk about selfless! Here is what Flat Isaiah did with her:
DELAWARE 10/19/2012 Hi, there! I arrived safely in Delaware. The first night, I got to go to choir practice with Mrs. Pat at her church. It is called St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes (pronounced Lewis). She took a picture of me at the piano and she has attached it to this email. This is the website for that church. http://www.stpeterslewes.org/ It is a very old church…….it began having services here more than 300 years ago, actually, since it was established in 1681. The current actual church building isn’t that old. It was built-in the 1850’s. (That is still an old building, though!) It has a very old graveyard next to it and the oldest grave there has a date of 1707 on it. Mrs. Pat and Mr. Gary were going to take me to the beach today but it was rainy, so we need to wait for another day. You will be proud to know I didn’t fuss about having to postpone that trip….even though I was disappointed. They will probably let me stay here for about a week, so I can see some interesting things near where they live. We will take pictures and send some by email after each adventure. Their grandchildren live in New Jersey about 3 hours from here, so I won’t get to see them, but they are showing me pictures of them. I miss all of you but I am also having a nice time seeing this part of the country. Mrs. Pat told me, though there is not a lot of chance for me to see snow in this southern part of Delaware near the beaches. If there is any snow, it would not come any earlier than January and I will be someplace else by that time. Flat Isaiah
One sunny day, Flat Isaiah went geocaching with Gary (my husband). He seemed to have a good time finding the hidden items and learning to use Gary’s GPS unit.
This geocaching trip was done in the town of Lewes, Delaware,
in a couple of spots…..near the lightship Overfalls and also near the Lewes Historical Society Complex in Lewes.
You can probably “Google” both of them for more information about them. Lightships are a very interesting topic from the days of World War II.
While in that area, he also visited the very old graveyard near our church (St. Peter’s).
Some of the graves are over 300 years old. He also posed for a photo by the Cannonball House in downtown Lewes….which is a very old, historical building.
Flat Isaiah enjoyed a sunny day outing to Cape Henlopen State Park near Lewes, Delaware. Here he is at the base of the WWII tower with Mrs. Pat.
He climbed one of the WWII observation towers with us. He posed for a photo from the top of the tower.
Now you can see Flat Isaiah did get to see the beach. It was a sunny day but not really warm enough for swimming, so we made him look from above the beach….didn’t want him trying to run in the water and catch a cold! This is at Cape Henlopen State Park.
We never did get to the boardwalk with Flat Isaiah as the bad storm was brewing and the local authorities requested people stay away. IF we get a chance this week, we will go there, but it is not looking too hopeful…but…at least he did see the Atlantic Ocean, as you can see in this photo. Flat Isaiah wanted to see the Cape May/Lewes ferry terminal. There were no boats arriving or departing when we were there but we posed him by a model of one of the boat. This ferry service connects Lewes, Delaware, with Cape May, New Jersey, and is a very pleasant ride of about 70 minutes.
Cars and trucks go on it and sometimes people go as foot passengers. Many times during the ride you can see dolphins playing in the waters of the Delaware Bay where the crossing takes place. We have done this ride many times.
It’s obvious Flat Isaiah had a wonderful time in Delaware and learned so much! I love that Mrs. Pat gave us links to the places they visited and also all these brochures they boys could look through. They love having things they can touch.