SchoolArts Room

Pop-Up Paper Sculpture

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Oct 30, 2017

This lesson can be found in Davis Publications' elementary art curriculum, Explorations in Art. It is from the second grade book. The student examples were created by my students. I often use this lesson for teacher inservices so I wanted to make it available here.

Remind children that artists often tell stories with pictures. Show and discuss examples of pop-up books. Tell children they will make a pop-up character for a story, using basic materials of paper, scissors, and glue.
Students will:
  • compare and contrast pop-up books and cards. 
  • create an original pop-up face or creature.
  • 9" x 12" assorted colored construction paper, 2 per student 
  • assorted colors of scraps of construction paper 
  • scissors 
  • glue
Show and discuss different styles and types of pop-ups in books and online. Demonstrate procedures. Discuss possible subjects for a pop-up face or creature.

Fold 9” x 12” paper in half like a book. Cut a horizontal line starting at the middle on the fold about halfway to the unfolded sides of the paper. Fold each cut back to make a 45 degree angle. Fold each cut the opposite way and then push out the "mouth."
Fold the paper again and lightly draw half of a simple shape for a face or body around the "mouth." Cut out. Carefully glue the face on a folded background paper. Add details with scraps of construction paper. The background can be left as a book or the paper sculpture can be cut away from the back paper as illustrated in the photograph above.
To what extent did students:
  • compare and contrast pop-up books and cards? 
  • create an original pop-up face or creature?