Halloween gives students -- and teachers -- an opportunity to express themselves. But when you're the teacher, choosing the right costume can be tricky. It shouldn't be scary or controversial, and it definitely shouldn't be boring. You can find ideas for easy, creative costumes in your classroom and lesson plans. Use items you have on hand to make a costume that's entertaining, appropriate and maybe even a bit educational.
Teach a Lesson
When you choose a costume to wear in the classroom, use your curriculum for inspiration. You can create a costume to portray any historical figure you're studying, using basic wardrobe items. For an Abraham Lincoln costume, wear black pants, a white shirt, a long black coat and a poster-board top hat. Students will find a false beard especially amusing on a female teacher. Wear khakis, a leather jacket, neck scarf and ski goggles to look like Amelia Earhart. If math is your specialty, create a costume that shows your love of numbers. Decorate a plain white dress or pants and a shirt with felt numbers, mathematical symbols and equations. Increase your costume's fun factor with simple props, such as a kite for Benjamin Franklin or a crown and faux jewels for Queen Elizabeth.
Be a Walking Book
Look for Halloween costume ideas in your students' favorite books. To dress like one of Dr. Seuss's Star-Bellied Sneetches, tack a blue felt star on a yellow sweatshirt and pair it with yellow pants. Create a simple Huckleberry Finn costume from tattered, cropped jeans, a cotton shirt, suspenders and a straw hat. Wear a black dress, striped tights and garish makeup to look like the evil substitute teacher from "Miss Nelson Is Missing." Use Ms. Frizzle from the "Magic School Bus" books as fashion inspiration for a simple, silly costume: Tack felt cutout planets onto a purple dress, wear a curly orange wig and carry a plush iguana. An Edgar Allan Poe costume is just creepy enough for older students. Wear a dark suit, neck scarf and false mustache, and perch a plastic raven on your shoulder.
Show Your School Spirit
Use your school's colors to make a Halloween costume that shows your pride. Start with colored pants and a shirt, and then layer on all the school-themed accessories you can find. Wear a crazy combination of sweaters, scarves and socks. If your school has sports teams, use athletic uniforms as inspiration for your costume. Dress like a basketball player or cheerleader; just make sure your outfit is appropriate teacher attire. Complete the look with a ball, pompoms or another prop. Use basic clothing and craft supplies to make a DIY version of your school mascot's costume. For a cardinal costume, wear red pants and a shirt, and a yellow cardboard beak. Create wings from cardboard and feathers. If your mascot is a bear, dress in brown, and make ears from felt or cardboard.
Pretend You're a Student
Your students may find it hard to believe that you were ever their age. At your classroom's Halloween party, dress in a costume that copies your students' school wardrobes and proves that you still have a youthful sense of humor. If your school has a uniform, borrow one in your size, or create a lookalike using a skirt or pants, a shirt, a sweater or jacket, and appropriate accessories. If the dress code is casual, assemble an outfit from items in your closet that resemble what your students wear. Start with jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt or sweater, and wear your hair in the same style as your students. Carry a backpack and lunchbox, and sit at a vacant student desk to complete the charade.
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