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Youth Project

Wings for Peace

Birds know no boundaries. They are free to move wherever the wind takes them. Some, however, have a specific migratory route, such as the Canada Goose, which moves by memorizing the route of a landscape from North to South. Because of this great freedom, birds are an ideal symbol to represent peace. From Picasso, Dove of Peace, to Magritte, de Braque and Banksy birds, many artists have worked with bird imagery to evoke peace. The symbolism harkens back to the dove in the Bible story of l’arche de Noé which was sent out to see if the water from the flood had receded. When the dove returned to Noah with an olive leaf in its beak, he knew that the water had abated and that the flood had ended.

While not necessarily exploring peace in his work, Jean Paul did include different birds of Québec in his pieces, especially near the end of his life. He painted many different species, including snow geese and owls.

As his daughter, Yseult Riopelle, said: “Everyone said he was abstract, but he always denied it. From the beginning, animals and nature are present everywhere. The titles of his pieces prove it.”

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  • Become acquainted with Jean Paul Riopelle through the Trajectories theme;
  • Develop an ability to appreciate works of art;
  • Develop an ability to create;
  • Experiment with stencilling techniques;
  • To appropriate the disciplinary vocabulary.

Project summary

The idea is to create a poster that promotes peace by using a bird as a symbol and adding a


An impactful phrase, either written or spoken, that expresses an idea in a memorable way. The concept is often used in advertising to influence consumers.

. This project exploits the


The process cutting a piece of cardboard or paper to create a shape, then using it to reproduce that shape multiple times on another surface.

technique and the digital.


Approximate time

3 hours





The set of contours composing an object. Shapes can be rounded or angular. A rounded shape is made by a series of curves. The contours of an angular shape are made by a series of lines and angles.


The spatial organization of a group of elements such that none of the items touch one another.


A spatial organization of a group of elements such that only their edges touch. None of the elements hide any others.


The spatial organization of a group of elements such that each element completely or partially overlaps with the others.





Each person has their own journey and understanding of peace. In this project, students will have the opportunity to symbolize their journey and peace using a bird of their choice. Researching different birds and their characteristics will help students choose the bird that best reflects their creative intent.

This activity invites participants to learn about stencils.


Take it one step further

Optional activities to complete during or after the project


Digital fun

Interdisciplinary ICT ideas;
Transform the image into a simple animation.

Take a picture of the creation and add a small animation with an online application like LUNAPIC.

Play with storytelling

Interdisciplinary English idea;
Write a story.

  1. Write a story that explains how the selected bird symbolizes peace for you.

Have fun with philosophy

A way to introduce philosophy to children;
Use a philosophical question as a starting point for a thought experiment.

  1. Explain what philosophy is;
  2. Set the parameters: listen to others, don’t pass judgment, don’t laugh at others, respect different opinions, etc.;
  3. Introduce the following questions: 
    1. What is peace?
    2. Why is peace so hard to obtain?
    3. How can we contribute to peace?
  4. Invite students to discuss these questions;
  5. Invite students to express whether they agree or disagree with their classmates;
  6. Encourage students to explain their ideas: “what do you mean?” or “can you give an example of your idea?”;
  7. Invite students to create a table that categorizes the actions we can take toward Mother Earth as either Caring or Destructive;
  8. Share the answers out loud;
  9. Throughout the exercise, jot down the answers in a mind map.




Draw a basic bird;

Only work with a negative stencil;

Skip the basic exercise.



Complete the project as given.


Work with several positive and negative stencils on a large piece of cardboard;

Write words using a stencil;

Work outside with spray paint;

Use the walls of the school or the playground.