Thursday Tales: Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #3: The Japanese Ninja Surprise
July 22, 2010 in Book Club Possibility, Books With Social Studies Content, Chapter Books, Elementary Educators, multicultural books, Reading Skills, Research Ideas, Writing Skills Tags: Flat Stanley, Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventures: The Japanese Ninja S, Jeff Brown
*Chapter book for 7 to 10 year olds, fantasy
*Young (flat) boy as main character
*Rating: Kids that are fans of Flat Stanley and/or love Ninja stuff will enjoy this book!
Short, short summary: Flat Stanley loves ninjas, and so does his brother, Arthur. They especially love movie star, Oda Nobu, and they decide to write him a fan letter. Then Stanley gets a brilliant idea and mails himself with the letter to Oda Nobu. Once Oda Nobu discovers the flat boy, and he makes him his personal ninja. Flat Stanley soon discovers that Oda Nobu actually is not a karate master, and he’s just an actor–but he wants to really learn karate. Oda Nobu and Stanley have quite an adventure in Japan, and both discover some things about themselves! (BTW, Stanley’s parents are not too happy that their son is mailing himself all over the world! )
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Students/children can work on their letter writing skills with this book. Ask them to pick someone to write to, and write a letter like Stanley and Arthur do to Oda Nobu. If you want to do a “regular” Flat Stanley activity, then create Flat Stanley paper cut-outs to mail with the letter, ask the recipient to take Stanley on an adventure, and mail some pictures back. Students can also work on addressing envelopes correctly.
2. Where is Japan? What is unusual about the culture there? What are ninjas? What is a Japanese tea ceremony? These are all questions you can explore with your students while reading The Japanese Ninja Surprise. (Side note: I live near a major university. They have a Japan House. At the Japan House, students can go on a field trip to witness and take part in a tea ceremony. It might be something you want to check out in your area.)
3. This is a great book for students to fill out a story map. You can ask students to identify main and minor characters, setting, problems, solutions, important events, and the conclusion. For more about story maps and information on where to find free ones, here’s an article I wrote on Bright Hub.