CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research

Students research a Canadian artist. They use their findings to create a character book containing both written text and visual information.

Required Time

160 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 7 to Grade 9


Art Techniques
Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


artist collage craftsmanship design detail emphasis line palette


Crayola® Glue Stick 25 g Crayola Construction Paper Crayons Construction Paper

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CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step One

Step One

Fold the construction paper into 8 boxes. 

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Two

Step Two

Cut out the lower two boxes so the paper looks like a fat capital ‘T’. Save the pieces to make the arms.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Three

Step Three

Fold the top outer boxes into the centre fold to make the jacket. 

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Four

Step Four

Cut the arms out of the two small pieces. 

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Five

Step Five

Glue the arms to the back of the paper close to the top.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Six

Step Six

Turn the book over and check to see that the arms are attached at the shoulders.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Seven

Step Seven

Fold the paper in half to cut out the skirt or pants. 

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Eight

Step Eight

For a skirt cut on the outside edge only. Stop where the jacket begins.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Nine

Step Nine

For pants cut on both edges. Stop where the jacket begins.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Ten

Step Ten

Unfold to check the shape you have created.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

Cut out feet, hands and the head from the card stock and glue into place.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

Use Crayola Construction Paper Crayons to colour the character. Apply a heavy coat of crayon. Overlap colours to blend. Lightly buff with a soft tissue to polish the crayon when you are finished.

CANADIAN ART STAMPS – Presenting Research - Step Thirteen

Step Thirteen

Glue your finished research work inside the jacket.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Construct a character book that looks like a specific artist;
  2. Create visual details that communicate information about the artist and the art;
  3. Gather Information using a variety of print and electronic resources; and
  4. Publish a finished work that supports their ideas with researched evidence.


Students imagine they are famous Canadians. They design a stamp to commemorate their achievements and write a report to be filed (hypothetically), along with the stamp design, on the Canadian Post Archives website. 


  1. Visit the website ARCHIVED – The Canadian Post Archives  
  2. Click on ‘Canadian Stamps’ in the menu on the left hand side.
  3. Search in years 1967 – 2010 to find stamps commemorating Canadian Fine Artists. (You may want to make a list of the artists in each of the years.)
  4. Click on any stamp to find out about it.
  5. Select one stamp/artist to use as an exemplar, Emily Carr in 1971- 1972, for example.


Language Arts:

  1. Demonstrate how to access the website and search for an artist.
  2. Choose one.For example, click on in 1971 – 1972 and view the stamps. Model how you are thinking as you look at the works. - How do you know which ones are representing ‘fine artists’?
  3. Ask students if they recognize anyone. Click on it to find out.
  4. Read the headings for each section of the information. Note the difference between ‘CREATOR’ which tells us the person who designed the stamp, (graphic designer), and ‘ORIGINAL ARTWORK’ which tells us the name of the fine artist whose work is shown.
  5. Click on Emily Carr’s stamp.
  6. Do a Google search for ‘Emily Carr self images’. Select a self-portrait (or portrait) of her.
  7. Discuss the details found in this self-portrait. What do they tell us about the artist? What are ‘key’ details? Why?
  8. Discuss how students should gather visual information to communicate information about the artist and his/her work.
  9. Provide time for students to complete their research.

Visual Arts:

  1. Show your sample character book.
  2. Introduce the challenge.
  3. Discuss how the sample meets the criteria of the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a character book to represent your artist.
  2. Include key details and design motifs that communicate ideas about the artist and his/her artworks/style.
  3. Include your researched material that answers the question, 'Why is this artist’s work on a Canadian stamp?'
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in your research.
  5. The book must demonstrate craftsmanship, technical accomplishment and attention to detail

The Process

  1. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  2. Encourage them to think of the kinds of details they will need to add to their character book to communicate visually about their artist.
  3. Make sure everyone understands all aspects of the challenge.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have students work in partners to read and discuss each other’s work. Once they have done this, ask students to share something they learned about the artist, and one interesting thing they noticed about the book construction with the whole class.
  2. In a subsequent Language Arts class have students write a response to one of their peer's work.


  1. Observe students as they work.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works. Students use the self-assessment form to reflect on their learning. (Downloads - CND_STAMP_self-assessment.pdf)
  3. Create a rubric to evaluate the published research based on criteria you have determined.