Educational Costumes:
Dressing up with a Purpose


Costumes are a great way for people of all ages to be creative and to have some fun. Incorporating costumes into your lesson planning is also an excellent way to support learning. When students create costumes, they invest time, imagination and play into their idea, making the learning stick. Although creating costumes for something specific may seem like it limits children's choices, experts say that imposing some restrictions on artistic choice may actually boost creativity.

With this in mind, why not incorporate costumes into the learning this Halloween and have your students dress up with a purpose?

In this post, you’ll find a handful of educational costume ideas.

Come Dressed as a Character!

Instead of a traditional book report, have students come to school dressed as one of the characters from the book they independently read.

Give guidelines such as requiring an index card on the costume that includes the name of the character, title of the book, and author. Require students to give an oral presentation as if they were the character.

As for any costume, check your school costume policies and make sure that your students know they will need to be in compliance.

You can find complete directions for a FREE Educational Costume Book Report Project at my store!

educational costumes book report project

Come Dressed as a Word! 

One of many great costume ideas for words is the homograph. My favorite all-time student homograph was entrance, the noun as in a doorway and the transitive verb meaning to put into a trance! Interestingly, there is research that says that you forget things when you go through a doorway. Some curious things, words are!

There are many children’s books on words that can work as a great read aloud before and during this activity. Click here for some good ones.

For a Vocabulary Costume, require a card or label with the word, definition, part of speech, etc.  You can find complete directions for a Vocabulary Costume at my store.

educational costumes vocabulary activity

Come Dressed as a Centenarian!

Celebrating the 100th day of school? The Gypsy Teacher suggests having your students dress as though they are 100 years old! This type of celebration is not only fun but helps promote a positive attitude towards seniors and aging in general. Grandparents would certainly love to help their grandchildren dress for this celebration!

Or, Come Dressed as...

A Hero!

I mean a real hero like Sojourner Truth, Tank Man, or Stanislav Petrov.

A Revolutionary War Figure! (or notable person from any period of history you may be studying)

A Famous Scientist!

Anything from the curriculum that you have covered so far this year. This can serve as a fun review!

On these educational costumes, have students include:

*Their person’s or thing’s name and real picture
*5 fast facts about the person or thing that are interesting, including why this person or thing is important


If the assignment includes people that students should be familiar with, make it a guessing game and have students include 5 clues on their costume so that others can guess who they are.

The possibilities are endless as are the opportunities for creativity and making a lasting impression!

educational costumes heroes fire gear

Looking for additional educational Halloween activities and fun?

 Check out these posts from other teacher bloggers:
Halloween Activities
If you have some great classroom fall learning traditions, please share them by leaving a comment below!

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