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Have you ever gone on an adventure with Flat Stanley??  It was one of my students' favorite activities in second grade!  
Full of ideas, templates and activities for organizing a Flat Stanley project in the elementary classroom!
We would read the original novel by Jeff Brown (there's a whole series) together.  It is a wonderful story about a a young boy who is flattened (but unharmed) by a bulletin board.  He then shares his adventures being only 1/2 an inch thick.    One of his adventures includes mailing himself across the country in an envelope.  So, as a class, we create our own Flat Stanley projects!
Full of ideas, templates and activities for organizing a Flat Stanley project in the elementary classroom!
I sent letters home to parents, asking each student to bring in at least one address of a family member or friend who lived outside of our town (the farther away. the better!).  Not all students would bring in an address, but some students would bring in multiple so everyone was able to send at least one Flat Stanley out.

Once we had the addresses, each student designed their own Flat Stanley with a template that I provided.  We would write a letter to our Flat Stanley's recipient with instructions to take him on an adventure.  In the envelope, we would also include a blank fact sheet for the recipient to fill out about their state/country.  Side note:  our class would use my How to Write a Letter packet to learn how to set up their envelope and friendly letter.
If a student didn't have an address to send their Flat Stanley to, they could take him on their own adventure over the weekend.  They would create a Travel Journal for him, detailing what they did in pictures and words.

 As each student received their Flat Stanley back (hopefully!), they would fill out an info sheet for our class binder.  It became a great reference tool for our classroom library!  You could also use this Studying the States packet to research our country and create a binder for the class.

We would also track Flat Stanley's travels on our very own maps.  Each student has a file folder with two maps in it, one of the USA and one of the world.  We would color in a state or place a star on the country once Flat Stanley visited there.  The students were so excited to do this!  And it was great geography practice too!
Full of ideas, templates and activities for organizing a Flat Stanley project in the elementary classroom!
As we read the book, the students would also answer comprehension questions, practice their vocabulary and complete some activity sheets to show their understanding of the novel.
Everything in this post can be found in my Flat Stanley Project pack so that you can re-create it in your own classroom!

I'm throwing it back to my second-grade days today!  One of my favorite field trips was our visit to the local zoo.  In preparation for this trip, my students would research an animal and become an "expert" on that animal.  They would then write a non-fiction book to add to our classroom library.

To start, we would pull out a map of the zoo to see all the animals that were there.  We would make a list and each student would choose a different one as their animal to research.  We then pulled a LOT of books our of the library and found some great websites online to help us find information.  The students kept track of their research on their notes pages:
There is one note page per topic that they were required to research (appearance, diet, habitat).  In each box, they were to write one fact that they learned in "jot-dot" format.  This kept them organized and was also a visual of how many facts they needed to have.

The students then put their information into a paragraph, each paragraph covering one topic.  We practiced this quite a bit together as a class.  We also discussed proper paragraph format, using an opening and closing sentence.
Once they had completed writing all their paragraphs and editing/revising them, it was time to create their books!
The students then created a table of contents, which they thought was pretty darn cool!
Each topic of study got it's own writing page that was labeled.  If they wrote a lot (or have large handwriting), they used a blank lined page.
As students were researching, I noticed that they find quite a bit of information that didn't quite fit into their 3 topics.  The students wanted to include these interesting facts, but weren't sure where to put them.  So we created a "Fun Facts" page!
The students also created diagrams of their animal, labeling its parts.
Once the students had completed their books, we put them in the classroom library for everyone to enjoy.  Then, when we visited the zoo, they were so excited to tell the rest of the class all about their animal!

Everything in this post can be found in my Animal Research Project set.  Enjoy!

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