HTMLGiant had a great post recently about dressing characters from Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, and it makes for a great English project. Read through the post, and you will see that it isn’t really about dressing the characters; it’s about explicating the literature and picking out tidbits that may help to define the characters and then choosing outfits that go along with the character definition that you just employed. It’s a great idea.
College Fashion even has a whole series dedicated to Looks from Books, which is a great name. They’re doing something different, giving suggestions for those inspired by famous books, but the idea is similar. I especially like the recent Catcher in the Rye post and the one about The Scarlet Letter.
I wish some of my students were this creative. Literary essays are great and all, but I would much rather see a student be creative and really get in there to understand characters and their motivation.
Ask your teacher before you embark on a project like this, but I can foresee it working for nearly any book. And forget about being period appropriate. Just delve in and have fun!
If you need help with Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, see our handy Cheat Sheet study guide, , or find ones for J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye or Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. You can also find lots of other Cheat Sheets.