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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

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


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Mobile Apps





  • A picture book, short story, or novel that the whole class has read

  • Chart paper

  • Computers or tablet devices with Internet access

  • LCD projector (optional)

  • Projector and transparencies (optional)

  • Samples of popular trading cards

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Trading Card Creator

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Trading Card Creator

This tool provides a fun and useful way to explore a variety of topics such as a character in a book, a person or place from history, or even a physical object. An excellent tool to for summarizing or as a prewriting exercise for original stories.


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Trading Cards

Grades   3 – 8  |  Mobile App  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Trading Cards

Invigorate students' writing with an interactive tool that allows them to demonstrate their comprehension using a mobile app.


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Character Trading Cards Planning Sheet

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1. This lesson assumes that students have some kind of regular independent reading time during which they select texts to read based on their interests and reading level and that there is a classroom library from which students select texts.

2. Make sure your students understand the concept of story structure (e.g., character, setting, and plot) and how characters tend to develop in narrative text. You may want to teach Inferring How and Why Characters Change, Using Picture Books to Teach Plot Development and Character Resolution, or Charting Characters for a More Complete Understanding of the Story before beginning this lesson.

3. Choose a common narrative text (one that all of your students are familiar with - most likely a text that you have read aloud to your class) to use when creating a card with students. You want a picture book, novel, or short story (depending on the age and reading level of your students) with a memorable character who has a problem that is resolved by the end of the story.

4. Collect some popular trading cards. Yu-Gi-Oh!, Harry Potter, and sports cards are all examples you might choose. Your best bet is to ask your students to bring some in to share, although you can also buy them yourself.

5. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Trading Card Creator online tool or Trading Cards mobile app. You will be using a character from the book you have selected to model its use with students. There are several ways you can approach this: by using an LCD projector and a computer with Internet access or by creating a transparency of the Character Trading Cards Planning Sheet.

6. Students will also use the online Trading Card Creator tool or Trading Cards app to create their own trading cards; if you do not have classroom computers or tablet devices with Internet access, you will want to reserve a session in your school's computer lab (see Session 2). If you are using the online tool, add it to the Favorites list on your classroom or lab computers. If you are using the mobile app, download it to each tablet device. Print out a copy of the planning sheet for each student as preparation for the activity.

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