ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Planning Story Characters Using Interactive Trading Cards
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Two or three 50- to 60-minute sessions|
The boundaries of literacy are expanding to include many different popular culture texts. Finding classroom applications for these texts can motivate students as they develop important literacy strategies and skills. This lesson uses trading cards to support students' literacy development in planning for writing. Using an interactive trading cards tool, students first explore the way that the questions on it apply to a character in a familiar story. Students then use the tool to plan a character's development. An extension for this lesson is to have students use these cards to write their own stories.
Trading Card Creator online tool: Have students use this interactive tool to plan and develop their characters by answering key questions about them.
Trading Cards mobile app: Students use this mobile app to create trading cards for fictional characters.
Xu S.H., Perkins, R.S., & Zunich, L.O. (2005). Trading cards to comic strips: Popular culture texts and literacy learning in grades K–8. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
- A New Literacies Study (NLS) perspective views literacy as moving beyond merely reading and writing printed words and traditional texts. This perspective includes popular culture "texts" including video games and trading cards as literacy tools.
- An emerging body of research has documented that an integration of popular culture texts into teaching offers students an alternative way to demonstrate their literacy knowledge and skills and to engage in meaningful literary practices.
- The use of popular culture texts may provide a source of increased motivation for many students and may provide literacy learning opportunities that are especially effective with reluctant or struggling readers.