How to Do a Pop-Up Poster for a School Project

Use paint to highlight the pop-ups
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Creating a poster for a school project makes presenting material to a class much simpler than using numerous visuals the student has to pick up and lay back down during the presentation or having no visuals at all. With a poster, students bring together text and graphics in an interesting way with the use of arrows and text balloons to more easily explain what they’ve learned. Including a pop-up feature adds interest to the project and the presentation.

Select the subject and angle for the school project. Before students can start their school project posters, they need to know what the poster will be about. If the topic is something like “history of our city,” students need to narrow the scope of their poster to one aspect of the topic such as “The Five Families Who Founded the Town.”

Design the pop-up poster on paper. If students first lay out plans on paper, they’ll see if their vision will work, can change what needs changing on paper and have a guideline to follow.

Select the color, orientation and size of cardstock or poster board needed. Based on their concept, students select the color of cardstock or poster board that best fits the theme and topic of their poster. Since a pop-up involves opening and closing, students select whether their pop-up opens sideways like a book or vertically like a pizza box. Cut two sheets of cardstock or poster board to match the design guidelines.

Hinge the poster board so you can open and close it. Lay the two sheets side-by-side, back sides up. Using clear packing tape, tape the two poster sheets together to create a hinge. The two sheets now open and close along the hinged seam.

Download illustrations needed for the posters. Enlarge or reduce them to the size that fits the poster designs of the students. You can work with the students to see they find the graphics needed for their posters.

Cut the strips needed to create the pop-up effect. The length and width of these strips depend on the size of the poster and how far the pop-up will project from the background. For a regular-size paper poster, a strip is 3 to 4 inches wide and 5 to 7 inches long. Students may have one or more pop-up elements. Each element requires a strip.

Fold in 1/2 inch at either end of the strips. Next fold the strips in half with the folded tabs inside. Open the two sides of the poster at a 90 degree angle, like an open pizza box. The strips, which provide the mechanism to create the pop-up element are attached on either side of the binding seam between the poster sheets.

Add glue to the tabs and attach along either side of the poster seam. This provides the background for the pop-up, as it creates a box shape when opened. Glue the illustrations to the pop-up box created.

Add text and other graphics to the rest of the poster as planned. Open and display the school poster pop-up project.

Carolyn Scheidies has been writing professionally since 1994. She writes a column for the “Kearney Hub” and her latest book is “From the Ashes.” She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she has also lectured in the media department.