In a class last week, someone suggested using the the free trading cards generator at bighugelabs.com as a ‘get to know you’ sort of exercise at the beginning of the school year. That got me thinking about and looking for other back to school ideas for this fun tool.
Like all the tools at bighugelabs, this one is very easy to use. Upload a photo/graphic or grab one from your flickr or photobucket account, enter a title, caption and some text and shazam, you have a cool trading card. You can download the trading card to your own computer, post it your flickr account, copy html code to put it on a web/blog/wiki page or print it out.
Some ideas – please share your ideas in the comments!
- Book Reviews – find a photo that expresses your feelings about a book you’ve read. Write a few lines about what the book meant to you.
- Student book reports – Use the 2-sided Character Trading Card generator from the ReadWriteThink to create a summary of the book, notes about the characters, plot and more. (sample card)
- “5 facts” reports – Find a photo or graphic of a topic. List 5 facts about that topic. Expand this to a podcast of the ‘5 facts’ (that idea from the Beverly (MI) Elementary School Podcasts) and use the trading card to illustrate the blog/web/wiki page listing the podcasts.
- Super Powers Cards – Have students create avatars for the trading card. And then create names and identities for themselves. Perhaps super powers that relate to things they enjoy doing? Fun “get to know you” cards to figure out who’s who.
- Parent’s Night – Use those same mysterious avatar cards to post next to student projects on parent’s nights. See if the parents can find their child’s work.
- Trading Cards for Parents – Have students create trading cards about their parents for parent’s night.
- State/country reports – Photos, map, flags, etc of their topic. List most important info about their state/country in the text section.
- Review Cards – Have students create foreign language/vocabulary review cards to share. Picture of an object and the words/definitions/meaning.
- Faculty trading cards – Teachers could create their own super hero trading cards to give to students – with information about their class or maybe their own “super-hero” traits!
- Research skills trading cards – Savvy Searcher, Commander of Databases, and other such silly things. Given to students as master various research skills. Collect a set, collect a prize?
- Solar System trading cards – Use photos of planets, etc. from NASA to create cards. Have students list facts, but not the name of the object. Others have to guess what it is. More ideas, photos and an online game available at the Solar Trading Cards System web page.
- Fact or Fiction – Each student creates a card with their photo or avatar and lists 2 facts about themselves and one false statement. Use this as a get-to-know-you activity. This idea from Experiments in Technology . See that post for a cool time capsule idea.
Here are some popular resources to help with making trading cards. But please check them out for yourself to determine how they’ll work in your school setting. If you know of other great resources, please leave a comment.
- pics4learning Copyright friendly images for education.
- flickr.com Use advanced search to limit to creative commons licensed images and to use safe-search.
- Tag Galaxy Fun visualization tool. Can’t limit to creative commons license though.
- PicApp Free stock photos.
- CompFight Handy flickr search tool. Simple interface and very fast. Limit to Creative Commons license and set safe search on.
Avatar Creation Tools
Trading Card Makers