Sports Card Character Study!


Sports card character study is handy from any set of trading cards with biographical information. They provide short, focused exercise for rewriting and character fleshing-out activities.

Begin with a small group assignment, then move to an individual character study.


Choose a single sports card.

    * Using information you find on the back and front of the card, list facts you find about the character on the sports card.
    * From those facts, plan, then compose your version of the card subject's Life Story.
    * Look at your character sketch. What conclusion(s) about this character could you make from the facts? What kind of person does the player seem to be?
    * If you could add one more sentence (or two more), what other information would you include? Add it.

This concentrated research activity will stretch your students and is an excellent to any project that requires student use of reference tools. You don't want plagiarism? You want "your own words" used? Use a sports card.

Paperclip your card to your character study composition.
* With marker, colored string, or computer presentation software, demonstrate which static fact was responsible for which sentence.


Assemble a sports card team by a single zodiac sign.
* Record its horoscope predictions for a week.
* Choose one of those days that has some special warning or suggestion that interests you and write a short sports report of what happens to that team!


If you are more literature minded, use the trading card format to work out problems students may have in writing character sketches. Return to some drama you have all read or watched together as a class.

    * Assign/choose a character for study or encourage students to choose one.
    * Chart the information you can find about your character.

    * How could you capture the sense of that character in a few sentences for the back of a trading card?
    * What highlights will you feature?

Primary grade students working in pairs, or individually, can react to reading material using the trading card format.

    Create your own trading card for your character(s).
    1) For the front of your trading card.
    * Draw a picture of your character to be scanned into the trading card.
    * What information did you find in your reading to help you create the “picture” of your character?

    2) On the verso/back of the card:
    * What important ways did the character influence the story?
    * What words would you use to describe the character’s personality?

Students present their own card. Encourage them to discuss each other’s work.


With 5th and 6th graders we expect students to demonstrate even more. Interpretations are more creative; comparisons, more critical; argument, more supported with text citation; and presentations, more inclusive of different media.

For intermediate and senior classes, the sports card character study can be exponentially effective. Students not only select their own characters, they demonstrate increased understanding of both story and character through the rearrangement of information in chart form. As a review vehicle, the objectives and strategies in planning, text examination, interpretation and connection-making combined with demonstration of language and media facility, make this a superb review format for term/final examinations and language SATs.




Hop from Teaching Character Study from Sports Cards over to the Integrating Trading Cards and Biography diversion!


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