Trading cards are for way more than just baseball nowadays. Every sport has their own set, or even sets, and there are an increasing number of character trading cards like Pokemon® appearing in our student's backpacks.
You can capitalize on this interest and experience by having students create a trading card to apply their learning through a product type that isn't solely academic. Wixie makes it easy to create and print sets of trading cards in your classroom for books you are reading or topics you are studying.
What's on a trading card?
Trading cards are usually about a single person, but they can also be about a place, event, or even an object. The front of a trading card is usually reserved for an image of the person and the back includes important information about the person on the front. You can follow this format if you have the ability to print on both sides of a page, but if not, combine the image and information on one side.
Why create trading cards?
Trading cards are unique forms of informational text. They include images, headings and subheadings, bullets, and often charts of data making them great examples of how and why to use the features of nonfiction text. The first time students get a single trading card, they may read top to bottom and right to left, but once they have started a collection, they learn to use them as a reference, scanning them for information.
Because of their small size, the space for information on a trading card is limited. If they are creating their own cards, students must analyze the information they have about the content and then delete, edit, and evaluate it to create a summary. This process of evaluating and determining importance to write a concise summary helps students better grasp the content they are writing about.
It's easy to get started
When students log in to Wixie, they can access several trading card templates from their Project View. To start using a trading card template, they simply click the Templates tab and have access to several different trading card designs and ideas, including an All About Me and Vocubulary-focused design.
(this graphic has been modified to show all trading cards next to each other, student's Templates tab will display differently)
You can also search the Activities tab as a teacher to find additional trading card templates that you can assign to your students. These also show up in the student's Project View.
Creating and printing trading cards in Wixie
Wixie makes it easy to combine text and images, and lay them out on a page, so designing the card after the research is complete is easy. Wixie also makes it easy to print a single page or multiple pages as trading cards.
If each student has made one card, or a single page, they simply click the Send button, choose Print, choose Repeat Page, and select Trading Card. This will print 9 pages to a single sheet of paper and they can easily cut out their own cards and trade them with their classmates.
Students can use plastic baseball card holders to store in a notebook or collect cards in boxes like Altoid® tins.
To create a collected set of all student work, log in to your teacher account in Wixie, open the Wixie authoring application, click the Wixie button and choose Import Pages. You can then select each students card to combine into a single Wixie file. Instead of choosing Repeat Page when you print, just choose Trading Cards and you can print the entire set at once.
Trading card ideas
Learning vocabulary and terminology is a lot of rote memorization. Images and contexts can help, so have students create a trading card that includes definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and visuals (non-linguistic representations) to help them remember the definition. If you assign each student a specific term relating to the topic, event, or subject you are studying, they can create, print, and trade and then use them much like Flash cards to help them internalize the meaning.
Have students create trading cards for characters in a novel you are reading. This is a great way to help you evaluate their comprehension, since they will have to share physical characteristics, but also character traits, motivations, fears, and more.
Students can create cards for important figures during a historical event the same way they create cards for fictional characters in a book they are reading. Physical characteristics are important, but so are motivations, fears, and character traits like leadership.
Move beyond information!
Cards like Pokemon and Mythomagic go beyond just information. They include powers and rankings and points to demonstrate how they relate to the characters on other cards. Use this game format to moving beyond basic information about characters in a book or important figures in history to ranking them and turning it into a game!
Imagine what lively conversations and deep thinking your students would need to do to determine the powers of important contributors to the American Revolution! How might their "powers" might match up against the "powers" of another in a competetive game? For example, Thomas Paine vs. Ben Franklin or a Loyalist vs. a Patriot.
Find more information in Creative Educator's Create a Card Game lesson.
No matter what you choose, have fun. This is project students love! And please share your ideas for trading cards in the comments.