At Verdun Elementary School students created their own pop-up books, using watercolor pencil crayons and various types of paper. Brush techniques for these materials and simple paper-folding styles for pop-ups were taught to them by Venus Lukic. Venus is an artist, writer and poet who uses storytelling and specific materials to create meaning.  

Over a period of five days, Venus captured the imagination and attention of two classes of grade 1, and two classes of grade 3 students.  She led them in the creation of their own handmade, pop-up books, in which they were able to tell their own stories. Using different types of paper and adhesion methods in combination with the watercolor pencil crayons, students transformed their ideas into pop-up cards and short 2-3-page books (some with interchangeable characters using hook and loop Velcro).  The unique books presented ideas on kindness, which the students can now use as a tool to monitor and be responsive to their own feelings – getting from “the red zone, back to green”.  

Teacher Nancy Stephen’s commented that “students were engaged, excited, attentive and inspired by Venus’s creativity… It was wonderful to see them all shine and take a risk with their art work!” 

Venus’ interdisciplinary practice involves image-making, writing and performance, as well as bookmaking and installation. She received her BFA from OCAD university (Drawing and Painting) and is currently studying Psychology at Concordia University.

Verdun Elementary School’s ArtistsInspire Grant experience was made possible by an ELAN Quebec/LEARN partnership for students from Quebec’s English-speaking communities to participate in arts and culture experiences, thanks in part to funding from the Government of Canada.

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Kids creating and having the best day ever! (Photo by teacher Nancy Stephen)

Creating pop-up books to share stories about kindness. (Photo by teacher Nancy Stephen)