Using classroom trading cards as writing prompts has been a game changer. Many teachers have told me that their students lack motivation to write or just don’t like writing. I don’t think that’s it at all! As teachers, we just need to see what it is that they are interested in and run with it! Unfortunately, that could mean different things for different students. Fortunately, I have a solution! I rarely use writing prompts but when they are this visual and appealing, I like to provide them as a boost to writing.
First of all, who says writing time has to be all about writing? Much of our curriculum looks at oral language development and many writing strategies encourage students to “think-pair-share” etc. Well, I thought it might be a good idea to put VARYING IDEAS AND INTERESTS along with GETTING KIDS TO HAVE A FOCUSSED CHAT together with one of their favorite childhood things in order to add a little pizzaz to their writing time.
Enter Classroom Trading Cards: Story Elements Edition! My class just loved using these cards.
I created this set of trading cards to entice my students into sparking up real conversation. Who doesn’t love a good trading card?!
The set I made comes with tons of character trading cards complete with names and personality traits. I also made some settings – a wide variety. Then I included some detail cards like special keys, vehicles, things to eat etc. I also included black and white ones so students could color their own AND blank ones so that students could make their very own trading cards!!
There are so many different ways you can use these cards! Here’s what I did:
First, I printed and laminated the colored ones. Then it was off to the paper cutter.
I asked students what kind of trading cards they currently own and what made them so special. Then I introduced these ones. Wait for it……. I got a “WOW!” a few times and some “Ahhhhhs and Ooooos!” I had students get into partners right away and gave them each a character. Then I dropped a little stack of about 5 or 6 cards in front of them after they had a chance to look and comment to each other about their trading cards. What excitement! Students began talking about ideas they could write about and before I could even say anything, students started “trading” their cards in their partners.
After about 10 minutes of this, I regained the students’ attention and told them that they could now look around the room and do a gallery walk of all the characters and settings etc. They asked me if they could trade cards with other people. Of course you can! Before I knew it, pencils were out and students were PLANNING, yes PLANNING their writing without me saying a word!
When characters, settings and details are all pictured right in front of you, it makes ideas and penning those ideas much more easy and fun. I found that kids could organize their thoughts better and rearrange their characters and setting in front of them so that they knew which ones belonged in the beginning, which ones in the middle and which ones at the end. The blank ones were perfect for them to design their own “problems”.
If you want to take a closer look at this set, you can see it in my TPT shop.
Thanks so much for joining me for this writing series.