Quarantine Costume Contest: Stay Home in Style with STEM Read and Lex Thomas

by STEM Read staff

In Quarantine: The Loners, by Lex Thomas, the students of McKinley High are quarantined inside their school after a biological weapon is accidentally released, making them fatally poisonous to adults. As time passes, the students break into tribes based on their social cliques. Each tribe has a unique hair color and fashion sense. The leaders of the tribes wear elaborate costumes to show their status as rulers of the school and to protect themselves during the violent food drops where tribes fight for resources.

Students showed off their costuming and survival skills at last year’s Quarantine Summer Camp.

STEM Read and Lex Thomas challenge you to create your own Quarantine costume based on the Quarantine Series (Quarantine: The Loners, Quarantine: The Saints, Quarantine: The Burnouts, and Quarantine: The Giant) published by Lerner Publishing Group. These fun, fast-paced pleasure reads are sure to help you pass time during the pandemic.

Note that this activity and the book series are recommended for students in grades 8 and up.

Quarantine Photo
Thomas Voorhies and Lex Hrabe, authors of the Quarantine Series.

Here’s the activity:

1.       Listen to excerpts from Quarantine: The Loners to hear descriptions of some of our favorite characters’ costumes:

Chapter 6, page 65

Chapter 6, page 67

2.       Watch our interview with costume designer Jeremy Floyd to learn about upcycling everyday items into costumes:

3.       Watch our interview with costume designer Jeremy Floyd to see how he would create a costume for Zachary, the fierce and fabulous leader of the Geeks:

4.       Design your own costume from upcycled everyday objects to show how you would rule the school and protect yourself.

5.       Share your design with your classmates, library group, or friends. Include a short description about how and why you created your costume. Looking for inspiration? Find pictures from the winners of our recent costume contest here.

For Educators:

Want to use this activity with your class? Feel free to share the resources and prompt above with your students. For more ideas on using Quarantine: The Loners, go to our associated resources and videos.

This activity meets the following standards:

8th Grade Writing Standards

W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 

W.8.3.a Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

9-12 Writing Standards

W.9-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. 

W.9-12.3.a Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.  

8th Grade Engineering Design

MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

9-12 Grade Engineering Standards

HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.

HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.

HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.