skip navigation | text only | accessibility | site map
Teacher Resources

The Clothes Makes the Emperor!

Begin lesson by asking your students if they’ve ever wanted new clothes.  Ask them to respond why.  Then tell your students that you are about to read a story about an emperor who wanted new clothes more than anything else in the whole world.

Start off by discussing what an emperor is.  Is an emperor like a king, or the ruler of a land?  Discuss how clothes can tell you a lot about a character.  For instance, would an Emperor and a poor tailor dress similarly? 

Have your students speculate what kind of clothes that an emperor would want to wear.  Start by discussing the color…what is a good “royal color” that the children believe that suits an emperor.  Then start discussing the fabrics.  Bring in samples of fabric: start with a rough fabric like burlap.  Is this a fabric that is fit for an emperor?  Then show the students a more “luxurious fabric” such as silk or satin.  Have them discuss their choice of fabric.  Next talk about the detail that would be good for an emperor’s robe.  Could it be trimmed with gold or fur?

Extra, Extra!  Read all about it!

After reading the story to your students, tell them that they are newspaper writers, who were standing in the crowds of town, as the Emperor strutted around with no clothes.  Have the students break down the events together:

Who:  the Emperor
What:  Walked through town with no clothes
When: Today
Where:  In the middle of town
Why: Because he was tricked into thinking he was really wearing clothes!

After breaking down the events together, have the students write a short paragraph that they would print in the newspaper.  Then, have them draw a picture of the most exciting scene that they saw.

Lesson Plans


Performances for Young Audiences | Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour | KC Home Page

Illustrations by Ray Cruz.Used with permission by Anthenum Books.