Tuesday, June 9, 2009

‘Flat Alexa’ Thanks the K–1st Graders

In December 2008, Alexa W., a second grader in Boston, asked Hillwood Academic Day School's kindergarteners and first graders to help with her "Flat Alexa" class project.

Like many schools, her teacher, Ms. Susan Misler, had her and her classmates make a cut-out image of themselves to be sent along with an empty notebook around the world. Alexa and her friends attend Newman Elementary School in Needham, Massachusetts. Alexa's notebook first came to Palo Alto and then San Francisco, California. It has also traveled to New Mexico. All told, the notebook was on the road for nearly seven months.

The photo at the top of the page and the video below show Alexa thanking the Hillwood kids for signing her book. Alexa's mother, Lynn, took the photo and filmed the thank-you note.

Miss Dawson's students signed the book and wrote about a book they were reading in class called The Gingerbread Girl. They were the first students anywhere to sign Alexa's book. As you can see from the photos, Flat Alexa spent several days in Miss Dawson's classroom, hanging out on the walls and making the rounds, visiting with students.

Flat Alexa comes from a long line of "Flat People." The first was "Flat Stanely," the title character of a 1964 children's book by the late author Jeff Brown. The book tells the story of how Stanley turned flat and started visiting friends in an envelope that could slide in and out of houses. In 1995, Dale Hubert, a third-grade teacher in Ontario, Canada, started what is now called the Flat Stanley Project. He asked other other teachers to take part by hosting flat visitors and to encourage their students to write their own Flat Stanley journals.

Also, Alexa's school seems to have a dog like Hillwood's Zach. Here is the dog's picture on the school site. Her name is Lucy.

Photo credits: Boston shots of Alexa W. are by her mom Lynn W. The San Francisco photos are by Miss Dawson.

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