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Costume Challenge: A Halloween Activity

October 20, 2021

Halloween is a great time to help students unlock their creativity. This fun class activity, based on the popular Unconventional Materials Challenge episodes on the hit reality show Project Runway, will increase students' motivation and get them in the Halloween spirit.

These particular episodes take place at least once each season. The contestants, who are all aspiring fashion designers, must create a garment out of materials from a source not typically associated with fashion. Past sources have included pet shops, hardware stores, and garbage heaps.

If you aren't already familiar with the show and the concept behind it, take a look at this YouTube clip from Lifetime.

Source: https://youtu.be/JxptPZWgBC0


The classroom version of this challenge requires a bit of preparation, but the results are well worth it! First, decide on a set number of groups and then prepare a bag for each group. Fill each bag with an assortment of crafting materials, such as colored paper, string, and glitter. 

Recyclables work especially well for this! Think newspapers, magazines, toilet paper tubes, and cardboard boxes. If your budget allows, you can also throw in a few dollar or thrift store finds, such as wigs, masks, and other basic accessories. 

You will also need to provide a few tools, like scissors, glue, and tape, for students to use during the activity (if they don't have their own). 


1. Discuss

Prepare some pictures or videos of Halloween costumes to show students. Then ask students a few questions to get the conversation going. Why do people dress up for Halloween? What are the most popular costumes every year? How do they differ from country to country? Let them discuss.

2. Organize

Once students are comfortable talking about the topic, divide them into their groups, explain the activity, and hand out the bags. Teachers can play a clip from Project Runway to help students understand the concept better and to get them excited about the challenge.

3. Create

Now for the fun part! Each group must create a costume for one of its members to model using the given materials within a specified time frame. This can be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the class. Teachers could also opt to have multiple rounds with students switching bags in between.

4. Present

When the time is up, each group will have the chance to present their costume to the rest of the class. Students should be prepared to say a few sentences about their costume. They may need extra time to write out and/or practice their sentences first. If you think your students would be comfortable, the presentation can be done in the form of a fashion show.

5. Vote

After the presentations are complete, have students vote on which costumes they liked best. This is a great chance to practice superlatives! Teachers can open up the voting to other classes in the grade or even the entire school.

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Comments (2)

Gloribell Betancourt(Guest)

I celebrated Halloween when I was young with my daughters when they were little,we dressed up and I made a lot of desserts. My nephews and nieces were coming. We were going to sing around the neighborhood. But I don't celebrate it.

Reply to Comment

Simone Armer(Author)

It's never too late to start celebrating again :-)
Thanks for sharing, Gloribell!

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