By Robert Enga 05/2007
Autobiography Cards (Baseball Cards)
(STUDENT TRADING CARDS) A trading card (i.e. baseball card) is a small graphic information organizer printed on heavy paper stock, typically featuring a person (usually a sports figure). They usually provide biographic information, statistics, etc., along with a picture of a person/player.
- A trading card is helpful to learn information about a person, such as finding out what their interests or accomplishments are, and providing a basic summary of the person.
- Commonly we may find cards that are about people that play sports; most frequently baseball or football. Trading cards can be created by anyone for any occasion. Some examples are: children in sports or cheerleading, adults with birth or wedding announcements, people that serve in the military or even pets, all which can be represented with a trading card with information.
- The reason we will be making Student Trading Cards is to model that biographies, in this case autobiographies, can take many shapes and sizes. Students should understand that biographies can be and are usually presented in the form of a book.
- With these Student Trading Cards, the students will engage in the process of personal information gathering, and take part in (depending on the age of the student) the physical layout of the information. At the same time they will be building a conceptual understanding about what constitutes a biography and the varied forms a biography can take.
A trading card will often have
- Name of person
- Affiliated organization(s)
- Height of the person
- Weight of the person
- Birth date
- College or school attended
- Notable achievements
- Statistics of each season they have played
- Image of a person on front, usually full body action shot.
- Image of person on back, usually a smaller close up of face
- May be any size, but standard size is 21/2 inches by 31/2 inches
- Sports cards
- Trading cards featuring fictional characters could be used as an example of non-biographic trading cards.
- Student Trading Cards, which might include the name of the student, school, teacher, grade, as well as other personal information about the student.
Lessons to introduce Student Trading Cards:
(First session – Immersion/Discovery)
Show samples of trading cards (we will show several types of sports cards. We may choose to share fictional trading cards as examples of what would be a non-biographical card. Finally we would share any examples of Student Trading Cards we might already have.
(Session 1 of Pre-writing)
Depending on the age of the students and or their need for scaffolding, the students will begin to write down information about themselves either free form, or with the assistance of a pre-formatted information gathering form.
(Session 2 of Pre-writing)
The students can begin to figure out what information they have come up with that they would like to be on the card. Depending on age/ability, they can also start to decide how they would like the information placed on the card.
(One session for planning and drafting)
Having decided what information they would like to include and approximately where, the students can begin to create mock ups of their trading cards by using a full sized piece of paper to illustrate the layout, and fill in the information.
(One session for modeled writing and revising)
Once the students have completed their mockups, we will show students how the six + 1 traits can be used to revise their trading cards. We will start with a writing demonstration, where we will demonstrate how the trait organization (visual) can be adjusted specifically to trading cards. We will “think aloud” as we brainstorm how organization can be used to present the information on the trading cards. In the process we will demonstrate how our prior knowledge of the trait of organization can facilitate our visual lay out.
e.g. Organization (visual) for trading cards:
- The location of the name
- The location of the affiliated organization (school)
- The location of static information like grade and teacher.
- The typical layout of images
(One session for Shared/Interactive writing and revising)
Continue to show students how the six +1 traits can be used to revise their trading cards. Ask students to give input (while looking at examples of trading cards) as to how the traits of word choice and organization (textual) can be adjusted specifically for trading cards.
e.g. Word choice and text organization for trading cards:
1. The informative writing is concise (word choice).
2. There is often a chronological organizational pattern to the writing (word choice).
3. Statistical information (e.g. date of birth, height, weight, grade) are usually kept together (organization).
4. Achievements are often separated or given their own area for emphasis (word choice / organizational).
5. Information regarding organization affiliation is usually presented in the form of a logo (organization / word choice).
6. Words are very descriptive with a heavy use of adjectives (word choice).
(One session for Guided writing and revising)
Small groups work on how the remaining six+1 traits can be used to revise their Student Trading Cards. Students will be divided into five small groups and asked to choose one of the remaining six+1 traits, and construct a list of criteria for that specific trait aimed at trading cards. The students will share their lists that they have constructed regarding the remaining six+1 traits applied to trading cards. Then the students will be asked to revise their trading cards based upon the lists which have been constructed and presented to them.
(Session one - Presentation / Technology Integration)
Digital photographs will be taken of the students. Students will then take their final paper drafts into the computer lab, and will proceed to input the information into the computer for digital image processing.
Note: Depending upon the students’ ability and age, a tremendous amount of scaffolding may need to built in. For the purpose of this assignment, we are assuming a fifth-grade level of computer expertise. Students are assumed to be able to word process as well as use basic graphic manipulation programs.
The students will import the images into the pre-made template (based on the design agreed on by the class), and will type their text into the provided text fields. Once completed, the students will print out their trading cards on the color printer in the lab. Each student will get 30 cards to trade with the members of their class.
(Session two – Presentation)
With hotdogs and tofurky franks, mustard, ketchup and sauerkraut, the students will enjoy some time sharing and trading their Student Trading Cards with each other.
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