Give Student Engagement a Boost with Digital Trading Cards

A digital trading card is a great tool to use with your students to help them organize information. Our students often get lost or struggle with terminology and the details related to important events or people. Digital trading cards provide the option to include images, symbolic shapes, and audio with the text help provide dimension to the traditional trading card experience. 


As an EdTech coach, I work with teachers in my school to plan lessons using technology in a manner that will enhance classroom learning. I worked with a teacher who wanted students to learn more about landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases and expressed that they typically struggle with the legal jargon used and the application of the decision. 

We worked together to create a template in Keynote for a digital trading card that worked for what the teacher wanted the students to know. Everything on the template was made with placeholder text and images. 


A blue Keynote slide with red rectangles and white stars prompting students to add specific information regarding their case
Landmark case trading card template

Use in the Classroom 

The teacher assigned each student 3 landmark cases. There were duplicates in the room intentionally. 

For each case, students provided the following information. 

  • The year the decision was issued
  • The amendment to which it related
  • The petitioner and the respondent (Her students typically struggled with identifying the difference between these, so this forced them to investigate a little more to identify this correctly.)
  • A description of the basis of the case (What was the reason for the case?)
  • An explanation of the outcome of the case (What did the court decide?)
  • A symbolic visual to represent the case (They were told this shouldn't necessarily be a picture of the people or specific event that led to the case.)

The students had previously learned a bit about each case, but they were asked to dig for more information than wat was provided earlier. 

To make the learning more personal for the students, the final step was that the students added an audio recording to each case explaining how the decision can be seen in their lives today (How did this affect them?). 

The cards were exported as a movie and added to our LMS. By doing this, the students worked collaboratively to provide more information to the rest of the class on each case from differing viewpoints. 



The beauty of the digital trading card is that it is adaptable to a variety of subject areas and topics. 

For example, it can be used for:

  • vocabulary words
  • notable people
  • elements on the periodic table
  • properties of exponents
  • characters of a story/novel to name 

How could you use this in your class?

In addition to the template I made with the teacher, I have provided a generic trading card. You could easily make adjustments to it with shapes and colors to better fit your needs. 



2 replies

July 12, 2024

I love how versatile this project is! I could see this being used to help students with triangle congruency theorems in Geometry, or trigonometry functions/identities!

July 15, 2024

Many years ago, I did trading card activities on endangered animals using an online website. I love the idea of having a template in keynote to use! Trading cards are a wonderful activity that can be adapted to many subject areas, including book characters, historical figures, landmarks, and more. Thanks for making such a practical resource.

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