Pop-up!

By popular demand, here’s another making writing project courtesy of the inventive and imaginative Paul Johnson. This one is inspired by his book, Pop-up Paper Engineering.It is a lovely project that can inspire nursery children and provide older children to create and write about a character.

I have chosen Red Riding Hood for this demonstration, but you can invent your own character,. As you draw and cut and stick, the character emerges and a story will follow.

You need to sheets of A4 paper. 

  1. Fold one in half. This is your base.  Cut the other sheet into two A5 sheets. You need only one of these.
  2. Take one sheet of A5 paper and fold it in half in portrait position. Cut a diagonal mitre from the folded edge.
  3. Align the mitred corner with the central fold of the base sheet. Trim away the paper that sticks out beyond the side of the base.  Now you have the area of paper where you can draw your character so that it doesn’t stick out beyond the folded page.
  1. Draw and colour your character.
  2. Cut away the paper around your drawing, making sure to keep the folded tabs joined to the drawing.
  3. Align one tab with the central fold. Glue it down. Apply glue to the other tab and lower the base sheet on to it.
  4. Open carefully. There is your pop-up character.
  5. Now you can write in the space around and in front of the character.

One of the many things I like about this activity is the pre-writing that happens as you, draw, colour and cut your character. By the time you have a glued down pop-up, you are likely to have a story buzzing away in your head.

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