Flat Stanley is a book project about a paper doll who travels the world. For years, students have been creating their own Flat Stanleys and sending them to family, friends, and relatives across the globe.
A friend of mine is a second grade teacher in California, and she decided to use the Flat Stanley project as a way to teach her students the language arts standard of writing a friendly letter. Each of her students created their own Flat Stanley and mailed him to someone in a faraway place along with a letter explaining his likes and dislikes.
I got my Flat Stanley from Sebastian, who instructed me to show him around my hometown and to document our adventures. In addition to showing him the iconic buildings and monuments of Washington, D.C., I brought Flat Stanley to the Phillips to show him some of the wonderful artwork we have in our collection. I think his favorite painting may have been van Gogh’s The Road Menders, but it seems he enjoyed Luncheon of the Boating Party as well.
Natalie Mann, School, Outreach, and Family Programs Coordinator
Natalie MannFlat Stanley visits the U.S. Capitol Building. Photo: Natalie Mann
Flat Stanley with his favorite painting by van Gogh. Photo: Natalie Mann
Flat Stanley strikes a pose with Renoir’s masterpiece. Photo: Natalie Mann
Photo: Sue Ahn
Museum educator Donna Jonte with students in the gallery. Photo: Sue Ahn
First graders from the Inspired Teaching Public Charter School visited the museum last week as part of their year-long partnership with The Phillips Collection. The newly opened Inspired Teaching school is in its first year and is creating arts integration projects that will be exhibited in the museum as part of the Phillips’s Art Links to Literacy Program. On this visit students viewed Elizabeth Murray’s Sun and Moon, Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series, and then created Lawrence-inspired collages in the museum’s art workshop.
Teacher Mary Ellen McCabe paints in the art workshop. Photo: Sue Ahn
Teacher Karen Johnson sketches in the dining room gallery. Photo: Sue Ahn
Since 2005, The Phillips Collection has solicited k-12 educators to be part of the museum’s Mentor Teacher Program, which enables best-practice school teachers to partner with the Phillips to produce and publish inventive lessons that weave museum artwork and visual arts learning into school curriculum. This past Monday, the museum hosted 45 teachers from Stafford Elementary School in Northern Virginia. The museum experience was a professional day dedicated to learning how art can inspire learning across the curriculum. Led by a four-person cross-curricular teaching team who first worked with the museum in 2006, teachers created watercolors that combined artistic imagination and scientific observation, made sketches in the galleries, and learned how to integrate the teaching of math, social studies, and language arts into studying and creating visual art.
Karen Johnson's watercolor on the drying rack. Photo: Sue Ahn