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Lesson Plan

Sharing Favorite Books Using Interactive Character Trading Cards

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Erika Griffin

Trumbull, Connecticut


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



Good readers recommend books to others and read books based on recommendations. This lesson uses trading cards-a popular culture text-as a means of encouraging students to make and receive these kinds of recommendations. Students work collaboratively to create a trading card based on a character from a familiar text. They create their own cards, which are placed with the classroom library for reading and using when making book selections. Students are encouraged to think about why a book and character are appealing to them as well as what they can say to make the book appealing to someone else.

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Trading Card Creator tool: Students create trading cards for fictional character to show comprehension in a fun way.

Trading Cards mobile app: Engage students with the ability to create a fictional character trading card on a mobile app.

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Xu S.H., Perkins, R.S., & Zunich, L.O. (2005). Trading cards to comic strips: Popular culture texts and literacy learning in grades K8. 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.

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