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History Pops Out

Illustrate the drama of historical events and movements in a simple pop-up book format using crayons and colored pencils.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Enrich any research project with a three-dimensional aspect in the form of a pop-up booklet. Most history projects are well suited to this form of presentation and students of varying levels can achieve success.
    2. Instruct your students to plan each page of their research booklet, knowing the story to be told on each one. This should include figuring out the number of full pop-up pages as well as deciding what will pop-out on each page to add to the drama of the facts and details.
    3. With a draft in mind, each student needs to fold (for each full page) a large piece of heavy paper in half. It helps to number the outside bottom corners page 1, 2, 3 etc. with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to keep order until the book is assembled.
    4. On white paper, the class draws the figures and background objects to be used in their books with Crayola Crayons. These may be rendered separately since they will then be cut out with Crayola Pointed Tip Scissors.
    5. To create the pop-up feature of the booklet, bookmakers should pick colors from brightly colored paper for each page’s scene; for example, use black for a night scene. (The paper should be the same size as the folded heavy ones.)
    6. Demonstrate how to fold each colored paper in half and then make two equal, parallel cuts through the fold. The two cuts create a large tab. Bend this tab back and forth to crease it. Open the fold and push the tab forward, and then close the fold with the tab folded outward, opposite to the fold. The tab should not stick out when the page is folded.
    7. Next the students attach each tabbed colored paper to the inside of the folded heavy paper by gluing along the outside edges with Crayola No-Run School Glue. Be sure the tab is free to move outward. Do this with all the pages of the booklet.
    8. Do not worry about connecting the pages until all the scenes have been set up with the figures and objects secured on each page with Crayola Glue Sticks. The elements to pop out are glued to the tab. Add three-dimensional collage materials to each scene like cotton for clouds or fabric to clothing.
    9. Help the students assemble their booklets by gluing the second half of page one to the first half of page two, the second half of page two to the first half of page three and continue until all the folded pages are connected.
    10. Each booklet needs a cover and an end paper. Label the cover with the title of the booklet and add additional drawings to the front. Glue the cover and end paper to the first half of page one and the last half page.
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Demonstrate an understanding that different people may describe the same event or situation in diverse ways, citing reasons for the differences in views.

    SS: Describe personal changes over time, such as those related to physical development and personal interests.

    SS: Describe personal connections to place – especially place as associated with immediate surroundings.

    SS: Investigate concerns, issues, standards, and conflicts related to universal human rights, such as the treatment of children, religious groups, and effects of war.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

  • Adaptations

    Start getting students thinking about what should pop by displaying some of the extraordinary books of 3D artistry by Robert Sabuda and David Carter.

    Once students have mastered this simple pop-up technique, they can continue having fun making cards that pop out. The websites of and have great suggestions with instructions.

    For younger students, the assignment may be more of a pop-up illustration to a historical story or text rather than a research project.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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