Lesson Plan

Flat Stanley and Beyond!

Students will create their own Flat Stanleys and learn about the world
Catherine B.
Classroom teacher
Copper Mesa Elementary (Highlands Ranch, CO)
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

Create a customized Flat Stanley, based on the popular children's book

Understand the components of  formal letter and write clearly and consisely

Explore geography and culture of the places that Stanley visits

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 2 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Create Your Own Stanley

Students should use the above website to create their own Stanley. 

Alternately, students could use a variety of sites that allow them to create an avatar.  These avatars could be printed out, or sent as "digital Stanleys". 

Some avatar creation sites can be found here:


(It would be a good idea to check to be sure they are allowed by the internet filter in your school and to remind students to use only school appropriate accessories) 

Student Instructions

Choose whether you want to be Stanley or Stella.  

Customize the clothing, hair color, etc.  When you are done, select "Next". You will then be able to name your "Stanley", tell where you are from and a little about your character. Don't use any personal information, such as address, phone number or last name. 

Click "Next" again and you will be taken to a page where you can print out your "Flat Stanley"


2 A Letter of Introduction

Students will use this interactive letter writing site to compose a letter introducing their Stanley.  

The letter should ask the recipient to keep Stanley for a few days, document his adventures (pictures are encouraged) and email teacher/student his location and any pictures before sending Stanley and the letter of introduction along to someone else. 

You can choose to either have them create a friendly letter, or a more formal business letter. 

For the purposes of this lesson, students may want to use a general "To Whom it May Concern" and an address such as 1234 Main Street, AnyTown USA.  The goal is for Stanley to be sent to one person, who will then send him to another person, and so on.  Putting in a specific recipient address may confuse the process. 

You may want to add that when Stanley is looking particularly worn out, he can be sent back to the student at the school address. 

Student Instructions

Follow the prompts to create a letter introducing Stanley, and asking the person you are sending him to to please document his travels.  Make sure you put the address of your school when prompted, not your home address.  You may want to add that when Stanley is looking particularly worn out, he can be sent back to you at the school address. 

Be sure and tell the person to send Stanley along to someone else, including Stanley and  this letter of introduction. 

3 Where in the World Is Stanley?

As students begin receiving emails (through their account, or--more likely--through the teacher's account), start documenting where he has been using Google Tour Builder. 

Depending on the age of your students, each student could create a tour, or you could create one as a class.  

You are able to upload pictures and use text in Tour Builder, so this is a great way to incorporate what people have sent back documenting Stanley's adventures.  

You can share out the tour so that others can follow the journeys of all the various Stanleys. 


4 In Stanley's Footsteps

As an extension, students can use Google Maps (separate from Tour Builder)  to see how far away a location is, use street views to explore the location, and use Google Search to find out more about the city, state or country that Stanley has come from.