Lesson plan - heads up


Discussion and craft – To introduce students to the diversity of headwear and the purpose and significance of these in a multicultural society.


  • To familiarise students with different styles of hats/headwear from around the world.
  • To introduce students to the cultures and importance associated with different hats/headwear.


  • A range of hats/headwear from different cultures eg Mexican sombrero, Australian akubra, Jewish skull cap (kippah), Muslim hijab, Hindu/Seikh turban, nun’s veil, Scottish tamoshanter, French beret.
  • Materials for making own headwear: cardboard, fabric, stuffing, paints.
  • Story about hats/headwear. (optional)
  • A range of picture books showing people wearing a variety of headwear.

What to do

  1. Teacher introduces topic and facilitates a class discussion about why different kinds of headwear are worn eg sun protection, fashion, faith etc.
    Note: During this activity, the teacher should handle and treat each of the hats/headwear with respect and set the expectation for students to do the same.
  2. Three or four children at a time model the hats/headwear for the rest of the class, who suggest how they differ eg material, size, colour, style and function.
  3. The teacher records the name of each item of headwear, the country/ies it is mostly worn in and/or by which cultural group.
  4. Students look at pictures of people and headwear in the picture books and suggest possible reasons/situations for which they might be worn.
  5. Teacher elicits students’ experiences regarding family or friends who use headwear for particular purposes.
  6. Students decide which type of hat/headwear they would like to make, and work individually or in pairs to craft one of the items they have discussed.
  7. Students model their headwear at a school assembly or to another group of students, explaining the background and purpose of the items they have chosen.

Extension activities

  • Teacher/students read a range of stories about hats/headwear.
  • Students learn about sun safety and the use of hats in sun protection.
  • Display photographs of students with the headwear, accompanied by short written reports about their significance.
  • Explore colloquial language associated with hats eg ‘putting on another hat’, ‘if the cap fits…’, ‘mad as a hatter’.
  • Students learn to say ‘hello’ in the language associated with their hat/headwear.
  • On a world map, students locate the country/ies with which their chosen headwear is associated, and with string, link them with photographs of the item.
  • Students may bring in other items of clothing from home that have cultural or other significance.

Adapted from a Living in Harmony Funded Project, ‘All Together Now’, Churches’ Commission on Education, WA, 1999.