Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
I'll Trade You . . .
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Procedures for teachers is divided into five sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
Steps -- Conducting the lesson
Extensions -- Additional activities


Media Components

Computer Resources:
  • Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.
  • Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running Windows® 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM. Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or above and at least 32 MB of RAM.
  • Software: Any presentation software such as Power Point or Hyperstudio (optional)


Students will need the following supplies:

  • Computers with the capacities indicated above
  • Notebook or journal
  • Pens/pencils
  • Glue

Teachers will need the following supplies:

  • Board and/or chart paper
  • Ideally a screen on which to project the Web-based video clips
  • Handouts of Web resources if computers are not available in the classroom
  • Oaktag paper, heavy stock paper or thin cardboard paper cut into 2.5 x 3.5 inch rectangles.
  • If available, a laminating machine or plastic baseball card holders so the cards can be handled frequently without damaging the students' work.

Bookmarked sites:

Bookmark all of the Web sites used in the lesson and create a word processing document listing all of the links to distribute to students. Preview all of the sites and videos before presenting them to your class.

Web sites that students should visit for ideas about how to design their sports cards.

  • The Illustrated History of Baseball Cards: The 1800s
    This Web site features a short history of baseball cards from the early days of the 1800s to the present.

  • Topps Baseball Cards
    This is the official Web site for the Topps Baseball Card Company. (Note that this is a retail site.) If the students scroll to the bottom of the page, they will see a slideshow of different baseball cards and players. They should look at these images for ideas for their own baseball cards.

  • Library of Congress project
    This Web site features cards with pictures of baseball teams and links to individual cards.

  • Mathematician Trading Cards
    This Web site features examples of the type of work that you should be looking for from the 2nd to 5th graders. These cards are similar to baseball cards, but with short profiles of mathematicians.
  • Make copies of this article to share with students during the introductory lesson for this unit.

  • USA Today story titled "Baseball Cards Hold Timeless Memories" 2001-03-27-cover-cards.htm
    Mike Dodd's article about the importance of baseball cards for fans of all ages.

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Introductory Activity:

  • Start the lesson unit by having a general discussion about sports cards. Ask the class the following questions and make a chart of some of their responses.
    • How many people have baseball or other sports cards at home?
    • Why do you buy and collect sports cards? (Write the students' responses on large chart paper.)
    • What kind of information would you find on a sports card? Chart these answers.
    • What makes a card popular or unpopular? Be specific about your reason. Chart these answers.

  • Distribute Mike Dodd's article from USA Today titled "Baseball Cards Hold Timeless Memories." This article can be found at baseball/stories/ 2001-03-27-cover-cards.htm. The class will read the article out loud and discuss it together. Consider the following questions:
    • How does the author feel about his baseball cards?
    • What did he do with them as a kid?
    • Why do the adults in the article still buy them?

  • Revisit the charts that the students have just created. Based on the reading, are there any elements, ideas, and/or concepts that have been left out?

  • At this point, announce that the class will watch an hour-long episode about sports in New York City. During the video, they will see athletes described as the "Big Shots" and the "Bad Guys." Remind the students that they should try to remember which athletes were named in the video. You can also break the "memory task" into groups of sports. That way, the students will only have to focus on remembering the athletes in one sport.
    • baseball
    • basketball
    • hockey
    • football

  • After watching the video, the class will brainstorm what they remember from the video and make a list of the "Big Shots" and the "Bad Guys."
    • The "Big Shots" list includes:
      • Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers
      • Mike Piazza, New York Mets
      • Roger Clemens, New York Yankees
      • Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks
      • Willis Reed, New York Knicks
      • Bobby Thomson, New York Giants
      • Joe Namath, New York Jets
      • Mark Messier, New York Islanders
      • Dennis Potvin, New York Islanders
      • Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees
      • Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers
      • Joe DiMaggio, New York, Yankees

    • The "Bad Guys" list includes:
      • Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers
      • Walter O'Malley, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers
      • John Rocker, formerly of the Atlanta Braves
      • George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees

    Culminating Activity/Assessment:

  • After completing the list of "Bad Guys" and "Big Shots," students will choose the athlete that they want to research.

  • Before the students begin to work on their individual cards, the "Bad Guys" group will meet together and the "Big Shots" card makers will meet together to discuss a logo that will go on everyone's card. The logo should be distinct and exemplify being a "Big Shot" or "Bad Guy."

  • After deciding on the logo, students will begin working. Distribute the "Baseball Card Activity Organizer" that will list questions that students must answer when they do their research.

  • If students need examples of what cards look like, they can refer to one of the following Web sites.
  • Allow enough time for students to research and design their cards. At this point, all students should have a copy of the "Baseball Card Checklist" to make sure that they have included all of the required elements. It would be helpful to go over the requirements with the students at this point. Students should type their work and format it so it fits on a 2.5 x 3.5 inch card. If the students know how to use PageMaker, the teacher should have a 2.5 x 3.5 inch card template ready for each student to design his or her card. If PageMaker is not available, students should print out their photos, logos and text and paste in on to the card directly.

  • When they are done, students must go over the checklist with you to ensure that they have included all required components. Once completed, laminate the cards or place them in plastic card covers to preserve the students' work.

  • Allow time for students to share and present their cards.


    Cross-Curricular Extensions:
    • Lessons about athletics and sports teams lend themselves very nicely to mathematics lessons on the concept of mean and median. Students can figure out their athletes batting average for their careers and compare them with their teammates, for example.
    • Geography lessons using sports teams – Students can create travel guides for the cities that are home to the professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey teams represented on their cards.
    Community Connections: Students can research and then create posters commemorating the achievements of African American athletes, Asian American sports stars, and Latin American players, for example.

    • Many Web sites about baseball cards exist for retail purposes. Be cautious and vigilant that students do not try to purchase merchandise through the Internet. If this is a concern, you should photocopy the relevant pages or bring in actual cards instead.
    • For an interesting twist to the activity, assign the same athlete to several different students and then compare and contrast their designs, information, and photos.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students