Let the trading begin! Students in first grade created trading cards of their favorite book characters and exchanged them with their classmates. First, we read Cece Belle's Bee-Wigged and generated descriptions for the two main characters, Jerry Bee and Wiglet. Students then made a practice trading card with three bullet points about either Jerry or Wiglet and drew an illustration. The following week, after discussing examples of popular book characters, students picked their favorite and made their official character trading card in pencil. I photocopied the cards and students traded them with each other during class. As students approached potential trading partners, they had to identify their character, describe three things about them, and show the illustration on their card. During trading, the class was abuzz with literary character chatter. Students had a blast giving and receiving cards. At the end of class, students colored in their newly acquired cards. This was a fun way to hit Common Core ELA standards on character details and speaking and listening skills as well as AASL standards on sharing work and personal literary growth. It also inspired students to check out new books based on their friends' trading card descriptions. I will definitely do this again next year. See below for photos of student trading in action. You can download a PDF version of the trading cards template here.
-Suzanne Jordan, K-5 library teacher