Your school-age children are probably knee-deep in summer reading at this point. As a parent, you want to help make their lives easier. Trading cards are powerful tools for increasing understanding of book characters. Children analyze different traits of the character, gaining an understanding of the elements and then demonstrating their literacy knowledge and skills.
Students create a trading card for each character in the book, describing elements like appearance, actions, and feelings. They should do this online because they may add to or alter the information as they progress through the book. Students can even upload an image onto each card to make it look authentic. Information included will range from a basic description to creating personal connections with each character.
Finished trading cards can be produced by a short run printing company and used as resources when children write narrative stories to prove they have read the books. Students must consider the book characters, setting, and the plot when preparing this written assignment. The descriptive information and linking details included in each card serve as a starting point. As students move through summer reading, they can organize cards into groups by author, subject, or other category.
Some teachers take written assignments one step further, asking children to analyze a real person. Students must then determine the outcome of a meeting between this individual and a character in one of the assigned books. They can create a trading card for the real figure, adding details within each category included on the other cards.
Parents can use an online short run printing company to produce the cards at low prices. Children will reduce their workload by collaborating on card creation, with each child assigned a few characters. Before the school doors open for summer, children will have completed all the books and written assignments.