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Online Collaborative Projects: Doing a Travel Buddy Project
boy and tv

In the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, Stanley is squashed flat by a falling bulletin board. Since he is now flat, he can visit his friends by traveling in an envelope. Classes send a paper cutout of Flat Stanley along with their writing by conventional mail or communicate by email. Sometimes pictures are posted on the web as Flat Stanley travels. Students plot Stanley's adventures on a map.

Check out some Flat Stanley Links:

For more ideas, do a search in Google for "flat stanley."

Starting a Project

Select or create something to share through conventional mail such as a paper Flat Stanley, beanie baby, science equipment, fossils, or other objects.

Put the sender's name and return address and email address on the object or the box.

Create a list of participants. Or, select an address from the list of participants.

Send an email to be sure that the school still wants to participate.

Mail the object along with a laminated sheet of directions, worksheet originals, a blank journal, a disposable camera, a book to read, or other interesting activity starters. You might include journal starters such as the weather, what we did today, what we learned...

You may want to include return postage depending on the project.

Receiving a Travel Buddy

If the object is a Flat Stanley or stuffed animal, treat it like a visitor to your classroom.

If possible, send an e-mail to the sender confirming that the mail has arrived and estimating a date of return.

Have student volunteers take it home and complete the journal or activity.

Be sure to send the object to the next person on the list or the sender as soon as the project is over.

Consider including a souvenirs with the project such as a Tshirt, maps, stickers, pin, or photographs of the experience. Include photos or videos of the experience.

Tips for Success

Be sure to label your object before sending it out. Include your name, address, and email address.

Figure out the most durable, but cheapest way to send your project. Priority mail is a good choice in the US.

To save money, send your Flat Stanley as an email attachment and forget traditional mail.

Only use student's first names in corresponding with other schools.

Do a Travel Buddy Project
Start with a small project. For example, you might team with a teacher in another school in your district or a teacher you've met at a conference. Keep the project simple and realistic.

| Exploring Projects | Locating Projects | Selecting Projects | Adapting Projects | Creating Projects | Creating a "Call for Participation" | Implementing the Project | Doing a Travel Buddy Project | Online Collaborative Projects |

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