Don’t ask how I ended up at this Disney Pin Trading site featuring Disney characters dressed up like other Disney characters, but it inspired a Halloween-themed character analysis activity.
Characters from film or literature dress up like other characters based on some parallel such as conflict, trait, accomplishment, etc.
- Brian from Hatchet would dress up as Batman, because Batman faces his fear of bats just as Brian faces his fears in the Canadian wilderness.
- Elsa could dress up like the Ice King, not just because of their ice magic, but because they are alone (yet also want to be with people).
- Dorothy Gale might dress up like Katniss Everdeen, because both rise from nobodies to become unexpected heroes.
- Wolverine could wear a Han Solo costume since both are good guys who aren’t afraid to break the rules.
- Dr. House would dress up as Sherlock Holmes, since they both solve difficult puzzles but have problems socializing.
- The Cat in the Hat might dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow, since both create chaos, but in their core are good-hearted.
Want to see a kindergarten implementation of this? Check out the Not Just Child’s Play site.
What Do I Do With This?
The overall idea is to get kids thinking about parallels between characters, especially that good characters are often built on existing models, but this would be a fun Halloween day activity:
1. Take Submissions
Each student gives you a sentence describing their two characters and the connection:
Syndrome, from The Incredibles, comes dressed as Darth Vader because both sought training from masters, but then turned against those masters
This could be homework or classwork, but you’ll need it at least a day before Halloween so you can create…
2. A Matrix
You’ll build a table with all the characters, but missing the connecting trait, like so:
|Dorothy||Harry Potter||(left blank for students to fill in)|
3. Students Work to Figure It Out
Great for Halloween day. Start as solo work, then let kids collaborate. Eventually, share out with the whole class. Maybe offer a prize for the most correct connections.
Note: Don’t name the student who created each connection on your table, or kids will just run to their classmates and ask for the reasoning instead of puzzling it out.
Bonus: Drawings and Costumes
Not sure how to include it, but I love the idea of kids trying to draw Wolverine dressed as Han Solo and then writing out the connection. What an awesome display on a wall:
Extreme bonus: have kids come dressed as characters dressed as characters (wow, did I just write that?) and give a brief presentation on their connections.