Costume History


Students will demonstrate an understanding of costume history by researching and presenting their research of costumes from a certain era.


Materials Needed

Costumes from different eras (numbered and around classroom), movie clips, Which Era? Which Costume? handout (not included), History Research Project handout, Rubric handout

Costumes Rubric


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Have costumes out from different eras. Handout forms for the students to fill out( see Which Era? Which Costume?). With these forms the students will guess what era the costume is from and what country it could be worn in.



Transition: Now go around to each costume and talk about it, asking what era people thought it was from. What gave away the fact that it was from that particular era? Also what countries do you think these clothes would be worn?


Discussion: Having knowledge of costume history is important when designing a production. What would happen if you were performing an authentic version of Hamlet and one of the actors wore a blue shirt that said American Eagle?


Instruction: Tell them we are going to now look at some examples of costumes designed to be from a certain era.


Modeling: Show movie clips from three different eras. Some examples are: The Phantom of the Opera, Swing Kids, Young Guns


Discussion: After each clip discuss with the students what they saw in the clothes. What era and what country did these films take place? How do we know? Was there any item that seemed out of place? Has anyone ever seen a play or movie when a piece of costuming was not in the same era as the others? (If you have an example of this, now would be a good time to show it.)


Instruction: Each student will work with a partner to research a particular era and the clothes worn during that period. Go over the attached rubric and guideline sheet. (This assignment will be due on Lesson 5.) They now have the rest of the class period to get a partner, choose an era and begin research. Be sure to go around to each group to find out what time period they are researching and to see if they need any ideas.