My 6th graders love mythology. They love the stories, the family trees, and know the difference between a cerberus and a chimaera. So, when we wrapped up our unit on myths and fables, and to lighten their load during state testing time, I gave them a project to create a set of 9 trading cards. The set would highlight 8 mythological characters, and they would create one about themselves.
I have some students I would consider very talented artists. But there was something about this assignment that really seemed to click with all of them. Perhaps it was the fact that they didn't feel overwhelmed by a huge creative project because the cards were the size of trading cards. Perhaps they just knew the subject matter and felt confident. Either way, they did an excellent job on this assignment.
- A package of 200 blank trading cards (less than $10 on Amazon)
- A package of trading card album pages (about $6 for a pack of 25 on Amazon)
- 1 box of thin tipped sharpies
- I already had a few sets of colored sharpies
- Access to mythology books and handouts to use as reference
- A binder to house the finished products
I always have a lot of reference material for any topic we tackle in class. I've accumulated quite a stack of Mythlopedia books on different mythological characters which contain a lot of pictures, descriptions, and details about the Titans, the Olympians, the women and beasts and everything else. They are great for students. I also added a lot of graphic novels featuring Poseidon, Zeus, Medusa, and others. Graphic novels are engaging for all students. Even readers who struggle will grab one and devour it. I can't keep them on the shelves!
Each student was given a trading card album page and 9 cards. The card in the middle would feature the artist (the student), and the others would be characters in mythology. On the back of each card, students were to include important information about that character - family tree, powers, etc. The other requirement was the cards had to look like they are part of a set - they should have some thread that ties them together, such as a border, or color, or font style.
As you can see, the results were wonderful!