Whose hat is it anyway?

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By Nina Filipek – freelance educational writer

It’s more a case of hats on than hats off for these creative writing activities…


Hats can evoke any number of different moods – from comical to mysterious

Hats are fantastic fun! They are perfect resources to use as a visual stimulus to inspire your class to greater creativity. You’ll discover not-to-be-missed opportunities to explore role play as you try on different hats; group discussion about the hat as a symbol of social status; story writing involving hat-wearing characters and report writing into the history of hats. Finally, as your class comes to create and design their own hats, there are plenty of possibilities for instructional and persuasive writing.

Alphabetical hats

There are so many different types of hats that it is probably possible to come up with a dictionary of hats, with a different type for each letter of the alphabet. If the children get stuck on some letters, for example ‘x’ or ‘z’, they can always invent new hats for them! Can the children draw a xylophone hat or a zebra hat? You could present your ideas as a pop-up novelty or flap book designed for younger children in the school, for example lifting the letter or the word flap will reveal the hat and the wearer! It’s a good way of extending the children’s vocabulary, too, as they discover the wonderful names given to different hats.

Role-play hats

For this activity, try to provide a varied selection of hats. A fancy dress hire shop or a car boot sale might be a good source. The children might also be able to bring in some hats from home. Give a different hat to each group of children and ask them to become the character wearing the hat. Encourage them to improvise first, and later to write a few lines of dialogue for their character. You could link to history topics the children have studied by providing a selection of Victorian hats, such as a gentleman’s top hat, a lady’s bonnet or a servant’s mop cap. Invite the children to create a mini-drama and write a stage script involving these Victorian characters.

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