In 2013, a little project called Flat Stouie started. I’ve been seeing so many teachers going “flat” during our distance learning times. So I decided it was time to revisit my long forgotten project.
The idea was inspired by Stouie our school’s visiting therapy dog, a pitbull. Stouie came to us during “Reading In Schools Day,” and was quickly adored and loved by all.
Stouie was special for some many reasons:
*He was deaf- one of my favorite memories is a student who was also hearing impaired scream at Stouie “I’m deaf too!” I just giggled.
*He was gentle.
*He didn’t judge.
My students loved Flat Stouie unconditionally and the love mutual. So imagine their shock when they learned that Stouie couldn’t go all the places they could go because of breed-specific legislation.
We had spent many lessons talking about prejudice, empathy, and tolerance. This was their opportunity see how it affected animals as well as people.
We were also about to start summer and we wanted a way to continue our discussions and learning opportunities in the summer months. So we started the Flat Stouie project.
How did Flat Stouie get created?
We had a school wide art contest to create the original and summer versions of Flat Stouie. You can get your Flat Stouie here.
What do you do with a Flat Stouie?
Students get a flat version of our pup Stouie that they can take with them on trips, introduce to their own furry friends, or mail around the world.
As Flat Stouie travels around I asked each student to learn more about where they were visiting, where he was traveling, and was Stouie allowed in these places. It’s a great way lesson in geography, reading, and SEL.
The goal of Flat Stouie is to bring awareness to places pitbulls are not allowed. For example, we are sad to say Stouie can’t live in New Zealand.
It’s also a great way to share where pitbulls can go and the love they can bring.
I created a packet includes the Flat Stouie, letters, and a fun state fact sheet, and more activities to fill out.
Why do this project?
This project feels more special than ever. It’s hard not being able to go places, so I think more than ever we can talk about what’s it’s like to limit someones freedom of movement and travel. Flat Stouie once tried to travel via bus and learned he couldn’t!
It’s also a fun way to connect with students from a distance and encourage distance learning. This project is great for encouraging reading, writing, critical thinking, math, geography, and more!
I really want my students to research famous celebrities, politicians, and other owners of pits. We are proud to say he’s already met his first celeb.
Wouldn’t it be amazing for someone like Kevin Bacon or Justin Theroux to have a picture of his pit with our flat pit. That’s my dream. In fact I created a board of everyone I want to meet Flat Stouie: http://pinterest.com/nashvillepittie/famous-pitties/
How do you do it?
There are so many way to go “flat” and connect with students.
First decide how you want to go flat.
Second, pick a delivery method.
Do you want to mail yourself to students or do you want to share with them virtually so they can download? Maybe you want to print the image out and put with their supplies that students are picking up.
Learn more about BSL and what you can do to stop it here.
Third, tell students how to share their flat adventures.
Here is how you can share your Flat Stouie adventures:
- write/upload a picture to his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FlatStouie
- email your adventures to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram a picture #FlatStouie
Upload a picture to Twitter with the hashtag #FlatStouie
- Visit his blog at Where In The World Is Flat Stouie
You can get your Flat Stouie here. All proceeds of this project go to Nashville Pittie.