Trading Cards: Part II


So this past Thursday I had my kids take our character card game to the next level and actually play the game. You can read about my initial set up of the game here. I ended up filming the game as well, so I may upload that at sometime. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to explain the what went down. I will say at the end of the day, I think the kids had a great time and really enjoyed revisiting characters in such a unique way.

To start with, I thought it would be good to have an atmosphere change to the room, so I set up my tables in a hexagon with each team facing inward; really what I’m going for here is a bit of a battle arena feeling! The kids seemed to enjoy the vibe considering most teams really got into playing out the scenarios. Speaking of scenarios, they were really the key to what helped make the game tick. I’ll be honest too; it was rather difficult to come up with good scenarios–to the point that I only devised 8 so far. When we played on Thursday, we only got through the first 5 rounds, so we have 3 left to finish the game out this week. Here is a sample scenario I created, and bear in mind the goal of each round is for a team to pick the character that would fit best in the scenario and justify why:

“Your character has been accused of murder by the local police and attorney general. They claim they have physical evidence of your crime they can use against you. Due to the the government’s policies, you will not be permitted an attorney or a jury of your peers to prove your innocence”

The scenarios range from concentrating on brains and personality being important to strength and cunning being a winning combination. What makes it all the more interesting is how students justify their character selection. Some teams did a great job pulling from the text and extrapolating how their character would use a skill or action to competently overcome the scenario. This became particularly interesting when students would use the same character! In these cases, what was physically written on the card many times determined the winner. It’s important to note here that I decided that in any given round one team wouldn’t play and would instead be the judge for who wins the round. The judging team would rotate each around as well. To make the game even more interesting, I based points for each round on a multiplier. So round one was only worth a point, but round two would be worth 4 points and round three worth 9 points (1×1, 2×2, 3×3 etc.). This allows for any team to stay in the chase for winning all the way to until the final round.

Here are some pics of the kids in action:


20140501_12494320140501_140028 20140501_140016

I plan on having the kids do an ‘expansion pack’ for when we warp up Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and add some scenarios; I’m hoping it’ll be a memorable way for students to remember how characters are represented in the texts and how they can cross reference each other. It’s been cool to see them start to see tie-ins to our year-long discussions on archetypes and heroes.

On a quick, different note, the next post you’ll see from me will be my reflection on last week’s Studio Spring Expo and will include some great pics of the kids and their work. I wanted to post about it all earlier, but I’ve been taking my time to collect my thoughts and reflect on the power of the event. I’m really looking forward to sharing that with you all soon. At the end of the week, I’ll be sharing more details about the transition I’ll be making next year, so cheers to that as well!

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