Introduction

Activity: choose a topic (e.g., Presidents, composers, artists, etc.). Make a couple different trading cards (e.g., if you choose Presidents, make a card for Lincoln and one for Rutherford B. Hayes) so you can see how you the genre works across a couple of cards.

The baseball or trading card is a writing genre that requires only a small amount of informational/factual writing. Students can create cards and then exchange them with each other. A class could do a set of cards on composers or presidents or all sorts of things. This kind of writing is not intimidating because it involves a small amount of writing and the product is fun. It is easy for students to plagiarize on this--copy information verbatim from a website, so work with students on putting information in their own words for this project. You can print these out on regular paper or, if you are patient, you can learn to print these out on the business card stock (ten business cards to a page, perforations between each card so they can be separated after printing). Microsoft word has templates and the companies that create the business card stock (available at office supply stores) will tell you where to get templates that work with their particular pages.

Trading Card Template







Teaching Math with Baseball Cards


Baseball is a statistician's dream. On the back of the baseball card you will find voluminous batting and pitching statistics for each season the player was in the major leagues, as well as career totals. You can teach what each statistic means, recalculate averages, and make other observations and player comparisons. There are many math lessons to be taught using baseball cards to teach numbers and number operations. My bet is that it is somewhere on the internet as I write this.

For a writing activity, the student can choose which season they think was the player's greatest season and explain why. An extension of this could be to have a bracket playoff to determine the best overall season of all the cards used in the activity. The students write about each match-up and vote on the winner. This would take a long time to play out in the classroom, but if the students were excited about it and were improving in their math and writing as a result, it would be time well spent.

Writing Activities with Baseball Cards


This activity can be applied to just about anything that aligns with student interests to get them writing. Finer aspects of grammar and writing can be taught when students are motivated to write.

Here is a writing activity I designed for a student who loves baseball. This writing activity also encourages statistical analysis.



’S BASEBALL CARD JOURNAL

Date:

What is today’s player’s name?
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Which team did this player play for?
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For how many years did he play baseball before this card was made?
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What year did the player have the most / highest?
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What was the player’s best year? Why?
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Write a paragraph including three or more details about how this baseball card looks.
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MLB baseball betting here